Poetry

The Wait

I

You were young,
So young when it happened,

So young that I remember
You still needed to believe
Good always comes to good people
And evil never comes to good people,

And evil never comes.
To good people.

And so you blamed yourself,
You blamed yourself.
My niece, you blamed yourself
Though you were without fault
And blameless.

My niece,
How many souls would a person need
If she needed one for each soul
Stolen from her or lost
Along the way?

How many souls would she need
If she needed one for each soul
Ripped from her or stolen
Even before she has known love?

And what sum of souls
Is tallied by the years
She spends pressed against a wall,
Shot through by nightmares,
Shot through,
Shot down?

And what sum of souls
Is tallied by the years
She spends out in the cold,
Trembling in hope of love,
Shaking in fear of love?
What sum of souls?

II

So you are now come to these mountains,
To a high place in the wind,
Ostensibly to visit me,
Ostensibly to spend time with your uncle,
But in reality,
In reality to thirst among the dry stones,
Thirst for the soul you have not yet known.

At night I hear you in your room
Praying to your heart,
In your sleep, your trembling lips
Are praying to your heart.

Your faithful heart that has held
Itself receptive and open
Over the decades now, the decades now,
Your faithful heart that has done the impossible
And held itself receptive and open.

To your faithful heart your lips pray:
“If only you will wait long enough
If only you will wait long enough

If only you can wait long enough
If only you can wait long enough

Out in the cold.”

III

And now in the valley far below comes this way walking
a figure
Wearing a wreath of tender leaves,
Singing songs of healing,
Singing songs.
And now in the valley far below comes this way walking
a figure
With one foot stepping on the earth
And one foot stepping in beauty,
Singing songs.
Singing songs.

But

The slope is steep, the rocks are sharp,
The path is long, the night approaches
And he might yet turn away,

If only you will wait long enough.
If only you will wait long enough.
If only you can wait long enough.
If only you can wait long enough.
Out in the cold.

25 thoughts on “The Wait”

  1. Wow. This is absolutely incredible Paul. I got drawn right into it. I love the repetition. It is very effective, and the story is very emotive. Brilliant

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m about to go to bed, and I’ve got an unusually heavy week. If you don;t hear from me before Thursday or Friday it’s because my brother is coming over from Spain for a visit. I haven’t seen him for over two years.

        A lot has changed in my life since the beginning of the year…

        Liked by 1 person

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