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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 5 page 03


5325 Jeanne Mance Telephone Solicitation

by Jenny Cohen

Got a phone call from Jim Walker this afternoon.
Tells me he’s a walker not in name alone,
But also in reality.
The lady he was supposed to see
isn’t up to par
So he’s capitalizing on his spare time
And calling me,
Cohen, J.
Best to keep the wheel turning.
Jim didn’t stay in school past 6th grade.
He’s 75 and has never known a holiday.
Likes to work too much;
A lucky thing.
He has references.
I should mark that down in brackets next to his telephone number;
Lots of references.
He works for a lot of folks in my neighbourhood;
Chasidic folks with no shortage of children.
He knows the neighbourhood well;
Knew it when there were more carriages than cars.
He’s walked these streets a long time
Has Jim Walker;
From Laurier up to Van Horne.
But I bet he didn’t expect to find me.
Jenny C
Cohen in disguise,
5 foot 6, blue eyes,
Tucked away in the basement of 5325,
dreaming of lovers,
swatting fruit flies.
Haven’t I a job to be done?
He isn’t afraid of mess.
The dirtier the better.
Rats and mice?
Just swell,
He’d roll up his sleeves and make a Hell out of Heaven!
Don’t you mean, Heaven out of Hell?
You said…
I did?
Oh, well…Guess I might have.
I’m human and I make mistakes.
But he can clean them up again no doubt,
With a wink and a smile,
Good day and God bless,
He’ll open the phone book to find his next mess.