We Need To Monitor Our Cell phone Use

We are living in a time of disconnection and avoidance. There is a tool that we can’t live without that is both a technological marvel and a social-emotional tormentor. The cellphone! How many fights have you had battling over cell phone use with your child? How many times have you lost hours of productivity scrolling down a feed to disconnect from your thoughts and emotions? How many times have you felt ignored by your significant other because instead of staring lovingly into your eyes, he/she is staring at the lives of others wishing it was theirs? I wrote this poem for a project I am working on, and I avoided it for weeks! I knew I had a deadline but I didn’t want to do it so what did I do? I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled some more until I became cognizant of what the problem was. My cell phone was allowing me to avoid my responsibilities and even joy, because once I started to write, I began to enjoy what I was doing. Then I thought of how my ex-partner made me feel when he was always staring at his phone, avoiding my existence and then I thought of the many times my 8 yr old son yelled and said, “It’s not fair! You have a cell phone. Why can’t I?” So I present to you:

The Cell Divides

How does he do that?
Morning cartoons barely being watched.
She misses his four.
Long limbs catapulting to one side of the grey,
Cereal and milk stained sofa that still provides comfort.
Preparing to be the next superhero of his own story
His unruly curls dangling in front of fearless eyes,
That once looked up at her suckling.
Heart melting at each squeal of, “Mama you’re the best!”
Especially after giving in to requests of Hershey kisses.
Smeared all over fat cheeks that call to be pinched,
But were kissed instead.
These moments have faded from his memory.

Permanent reminders of love and bliss in hers.

How can she do that?
Monday through Friday morning alarms at 6 am.
14 years of snuggles and sometimes commands of “rise and shine.”
“Eat your breakfast!” Entangled with distracted, “uh huhs, and you don’t says.”
Nonsensical conversations of stories endlessly repeated with excitement.
As lunches are being made and clothes are being laid.
“Eat your breakfast!” repeated one, no two more times than desired.
Eyes tiredly and loving gazing upon her creation.
He sees how much she loves him,
But has now become the Batman of his own story.
Eyes cast down to a cellphone he’s been reaching for since
She made him compete with IT for her attention.
Now it is she who competes for his gaze, and he knows it!
She kisses his forehead remembering a time when he didn’t pull away
He is still her joy even in rejection.

What made him do that?
He sees his reflection and is jealous?
Green, freshly cut grass, crisp white lines drawn,
Between himself and his progeny.
The youth and vigor he once had
Proud?… That’s my boy! But lost in self.
Eyes cast down to the temptation
That promises the return of his boyhood.
One more space invader killed!
He hears the crowd roar in unison, TOUCH-DOWN!
His head snaps up. He missed it!
Eyes meet his, filled with longing and disappointment.
She nudges him with disapproval. Put the phone down!
Her loving eyes have turned judgmental.
He says there’s an emergency at the office. He’s got to leave.
He can’t handle this criticism.

Why did they do that?
Sitting at the kitchen table staring at empty chairs.
They are vinyl floral with stainless steel adornments and legs
A cheap buy at the salvation army that reminds him of his grandmother’s kitchen
Minus the smell of bacon and pancakes.
His salvation has passed.
He remembers her beautiful smile.
She looked with eyes of love
As he wrestles with their superhero.
Boney knees digging into his chest,
Hysterical laughter with each pounce,
Brown eyes searching for validation.
He looks down at his cell phone.
His Batman still hasn’t responded to his morning “I love you” text.
Finally, IT bings! LOVE YOU TOO!
He sighs in relief, holds the phone up to his face searching.
Black screened now, it only reflects his wrinkle drawn face.

He grips IT tightly like their hands,
When they walked across the street together.
His strong hand holding
Her loving hand holding
Baby’s soft squishy little hand.
Regret fills his eyes.
He wipes away the wetness.
He can’t break another phone.
They cost too much!