Making an Auto Insurance Claim

by Henry Crawford —

[my side view mirror] [got wacked] [by an unknown] [driver] [so I called] [an 800 number] [to make] [a claim] [and I was put] [on hold] [listening to a song] [with a strange] [xylophone] [solo] [and they broke in] [every three minutes] [to thank me] [for my patience] [I don’t play] [the xylophone] [but I was in] [a band] [called] [Curb Your Dog] [with a drummer] [called] [Nutty Chuck] [he knew] [three notes] [on the xylophone] [C] [C#] [and D] [he could play them] [fast] or [slow] [but we had to] [kick him out] [so Nutty Chuck] [and a guy named Horse] [moved] [to California] [with the xylophone] [and around] [this time] [the phone] [was asking] [if I would like] [to take] [a survey] [at the completion] [of the call] [after which] [the song] [with the xylophone] [came back]

[there’s always] [a tendency] [to account] [for things] [my aunt Grace] [who was not] [my real aunt] [learned to play] [the flute] [at the age] [of 98] [I remember] [asking her] [about] [my mother] [as she talked] [she would toot] [a note] [or two] [she told] [my mother] [toot toot] [my dad] [would never] [toot toot] [leave his wife] [so all] [the children] [toot] [toot] [toot] [would be] [illegitimate] [toot] [toot] [my mother] [almost took] [her own life] [toot] [when she learned] [she was pregnant] [with me] [toot] [toot] [Grace said] [I should be] [grateful] [they didn’t have] [abortion] [in those days] [I tooted back] [I’d be good] [either way] [toot] [to you] [and now] [the phone] [began] [asking questions] [I gave a 7] [to the service rep] [I gave 0] [for the time] [on hold] [I gave my mom] [an 8] [I gave myself a 9] [for being patient] [and 10 for the song] [with the] [xylophone] [solo]

Henry Crawford is a poet whose work has appeared in several journals and online publications including Boulevard, Copper Nickel, Folio, Borderline Press, The Offbeat and The MetaWorker. He was a 2016 Pushcart nominee. His first collection of poetry, American Software, was published in 2017 by CW Books. His poem Blackout was selected by the Southern Humanities Review as a finalist in the 2018 Jake Adam York Witness Poetry Contest. His website is