Telephone Party Lines

party line

A long time ago

the phones of the day

were party lines

many people along the way


Everyone knew what was going on

listening to people’s issues

tying up the phones

with many tears and tissues


Happiness and cheer

spread to all who would hear

community shared all

the party line was the ear


The community was like a family

in times good and bad

helping one another

whether happy or sad


Party lines are gone

people still helping today

kindness and communication

are still the order of the day


copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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  1. Your poems have nice messages. Well, at 78 I’m old enough to remember party lines. You had to pay extra for a private line. I think we had a two party line back in Minneapolis, where I lived until age nine. I visited my cousins in Thief River Falls (they were a little older than me and liked to tease me) and the family had a four party line. You know small towns, a hotbed of gossip, but like you said basically warm hearted and supportive. You’d always wonder who was listening in. Robert in Tucson.

  2. We didn’t have a phone in my mom’s house until after I left home. I walked to a school ballpark to use a pay phone or bothered this very nice old lady up the street to use her phone. We didn’t have party lines, but we always had someone standing around listening. Great words.

    • Thank you for your kind words. There was such a sense of community back in those days. My days of party lines were from my grandmother’s house. She would listen on the phone for hours. It was fun to observe. Thanks for reading.

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