Working The Crisis Hotline, written by Dianne Moritz at

Working The Crisis Hotline

Working The Crisis Hotline

written by: Dianne Moritz


Down by the river
in cramped quarters,
telephones ring non-stop.
Young people, women

mostly, quickly pick up.
Voices cry out: Help me!
I’m too high; Someone
followed me; And…

Then he raped me.
This new recruit,
sensitive as bruised skin
calmly tries on comfort:

Stay cool. Talk to me.
Breathe, just breathe, I say.
All night long, I care,
console, my heart

racing, as perspiration
blurs worn referral cards.
During a brief silence,
I glance out a dark window,

see the boiling water,
imagine my body
floating downstream.
At shift’s end I exit, running…running.

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