The Long Call of Yearning

This poem is part of a sequence of fourteen sonnets that I wrote winter of 2022 after receiving a cancer diagnosis: seven before and seven after surgery. “The Long Call” is the second poem I wrote, the week ending after my surgeon called with the news. I was walking in the Arboretum behind my house at sunset and two owls started speaking to each other: call and response. It sounded enchanting to my ears, but I knew it wasn’t: the owls were marking territory. It was a bit of argument. The poem flowed from there. 

Everything that comes from wishing is foreign to us.

Drizzle obscures sunset as if it had never
fully risen, a legato call stills
the charcoal hillside, a dripping staccato response;
owls make argument enchanting in the botanical

garden, carved out of the town by a surveyor,
while an excision chart is drawn around
my palate’s cancer site; your reason to live:
to raise my son with love and compassion.

After a boundless night, I woke the sun,
it glided past my petition with burning indifference,
without a word I struggle to catch breath;

I’ll stand with it, to true my shadow at noon,
to accept that life knows usefulness and beauty
only by cutting the long call of yearning short.

Guy D’Annolfo (M.A.), after writing four novels and countless poems, started reading evolutionary biology to keep up with his son’s interest in natural history; mixing in loads of Eastern poetry & thought he found a distinct voice and is now looking to share his poetry with a wider audience. Guy’s had poems published by the Cape Cod Times, and now Chestnut Review, and expects to keep submitting until the list grows long.



A Conversation with Seif-Eldeine Och, Poetry Chapbook Winner, Mark Blackford, Chapbook Editor


An LSAT of Culture, Mike Yunxuan Li
Chichi and I, Noel Cheruto
Sudden Evolution, Eileen Tomarchio
Paying for It, Lana Hall
Decay, Rachel Lastra


do you see me, Maya Hersh
Delineation of a Woman’s First Child as Her True Religion, Abduljalal Musa Aliyu
Busted Cantaloupe: Pilgrim, Isibeal Owens
Pray the Elegy, Njoku Nonso
Semper Augustus, Jessie Zechnowitz Lim
The Long Call of Yearning, Guy D’Annolfo
Djinn and Men, Biswadarshan Mohanty
Last Communion, Joan Kwon Glass