top of page

412.295.3207 by Kari Martindale

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

A pushbutton phone, bright pink, like the bathroom tiles and the milkshake counter.

It all started during the days when phones were borrowed from Ma Bell

and the most popular color on the street was the blue of a ‘57 Chevy.

My grandparents started with whatever phone they were given, in whatever color– no one remembers anymore.

A mechanic down at the Chevy station, my grandfather took their phone to work

and sprayed it an enviable blue, my grandmother the only one in town

with her phone that hue. One day, there was something wrong

The phone needed to be replaced. Only thing is, the repairman says, baffled: we don’t seem to carry that color anymore?

Best he could do was pink.


Backstory for 412.295.3207:

The pink phone was in my grandparents’ ground-floor kitchen all my life. I spent summers with them and talked on it all the time. I didn’t know the story about the color until I was in my 30’s!


Kari Martindale is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet and spoken word artist who has been published in a number of literary journals and anthologies. She sits on the Board of Maryland Writers’ Association and is on the management team of EC Poetry & Prose. Kari has an M.A. in Linguistics and has visited all 50 States and nearly 40 countries. Follow on Instagram @karilogue.

EDITOR'S SONG PAIRING: Not Blue — Kylie Dailey


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page