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No Thank You

Carl ‘Papa’ Palmer | Daniele Murtas

“No Thank You”

I don’t remember who I was talking to or what I was talking about, but it was my voice I heard and I remember saying it. That’s what woke me up, “No thank you.”

Had I said it on the telephone to a telephone sales person persistently selling telephones or a cellular telephone service plan, that kind of “No thank you.”? A dismissive, condescending, agitated, “No thank you,” voiced toward the slamming hand set?

Or was it said to a person or persons in mass, handing out blue and pink flyers at the fair almost blocking pedestrian passage, thrusting their advertised wares as I verbally elbow past avoiding eye contact? “No thank you,” barely slowing down.

Or to the red headed waitress as she asks on the brink of pouring, if I need a warm-up just after I’ve added the right amounts of milk for color and sugar for taste. “No thank you,” with a smiling shake of my head and a blocking hand over the cup.

Or maybe a singing retort at the sticky faced toddler in the waiting room, ripe diaper, crawling toward my seat, offering gooey green gummie bears from his fuzzy little open hands. “No thank you,” quite loud, backing into my chair trying to get the parents’ attention to keep their odorous brat at bay.

Perhaps a polite refusal, though to an offer of something I actually desire, like another slice of hot blueberry pie or more peaches with vanilla ice cream, the unconvincing sort, that if asked again, may not be that vague, unmeant “No thank you,” that was automatically voiced. Whereas, if offered again, “Are you sure?” just surely might be accepted.

My ponderings now abruptly curtailed by yet another question from the other side of my bed. “Still wanna get up early?”

“No thank you”.

Now I’m asking myself, “Who was that?”

About Carl ‘Papa’ Palmer

Carl "Papa" Palmer of Old Mill Road in Ridgeway VA now lives in University Place WA. He has a 2015 contest winning poem riding buses somewhere in Seattle. Carl is a Pushcart Prize and Micro Award nominee. MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever. Find him on

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