The Red Phone Box

We had to do it in the right order
Lift the handset
dial the number, scribbled on a piece of paper, somwhere in some pocket?
wait for the tone, the hello, the beeps
and shove the money in as fast as you can
before it fell back out again
A huge bakolite receiver, too big for your face
Excitedly you shout ‘Hello, It’s me,
Is that you?’
Almost like you were Alexander Graham Bell
the thrill of hearing a voice on the wire

The phone booth often smelled of pee
And a puddle remained for evidence
Directories torn, burned, holed by cigarettes
broken panes of glass
sometimes bilateral, parallel at shoulder height
Could only be a fisherman telling of his great catch that night

And when you got your place in there
you were reluctant to give it up
When no one was home, you pretended they were anyway
people chapped on the window ‘hurry up’
but you kept on chatting
So you wouldn’t be a nobody

A man would loiter outside sometimes
Waiting for an important call about a job
stood there smoking, in his best suit
As if he could be seen down the line
Getting ratty when kids ‘blocked’ the phone
They’d try to chase us home
Frustrated they could not afford their own

Ahhh the Telephone Box,
We’d even socialize in there when we were sure that no one cared
making crank calls and laughing slam the receiver down
What an icon
Will Facebook hold the same revere
in another form of yesteryear?

Currently unavailable for purchase

Inspired by a beautiful image of a Red Phone Booth.


  • Trenchtownrock
    Trenchtownrockalmost 5 years ago

    You captured this very well with the smells..the appearance of the directories…people…nice depiction.

  • Why thank you kind sir!

    – Soaps

  • Fuego1
    Fuego1almost 5 years ago

    Really well done. Totally popping imagery.

  • Glad you liked it, Gracias

    – Soaps

  • bearwings
    bearwingsalmost 5 years ago

    memories…………….and how pissed do you think my mum was when she found out dad said to the phone guy…“don’t bother going out to the van for a white one, that one (ugly black test phone) looks sturdy and its hooked up and working…leave it there.”

  • see below this klutz keeps forgetting to hit reply!

    – Soaps

  • Soaps
    Soapsalmost 5 years ago

    Hee hee hee, memories indeed. Ta muchly!

  • bearwings
    bearwingsalmost 5 years ago


  • Trystan  Mitchell
    Trystan Mitchellalmost 5 years ago

    “…people chapped on the window ‘hurry up’…”: little old ladies with a ten pence piece gripped like a plectrum….“chapped”….perfect. And that bakelite receiver WAS massive….and having to really lean on the doors sometimes to get out:-)

    Choice bit of writing …like the way you’ve caught it’s different moments. Tripped the memory circuits! :)

  • It was your drawing, your beautiful iluustration of the word Telephone, that brought all this flooding back…………. Thank you!

    – Soaps

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