log poetry...prose commentary


Monday, June 18, 2007

life as a staring contest

oh God.
a staring contest
is underway only-

neither competition
nor hate hides
in either gaze only-

stubbornness (in mine)
patience (in your eyes)
as you wait with
no desire to drive
to desperation
or point of break, but only-

to embrace at the
exact second of
simple surrender
when i say only-

i'm ready.
i give."

Friday, June 08, 2007

Waiting for Henry

Though, everyone she talked to heard about him, no one in our town was quite sure if she really had a husband. She rambled mumbly about many things. But, when she spoke of Henry it was always in that clear loud voice of someone trying to convince themselves. It is the same tone people take when they want to be heard by someone in the next room with whom they are not on speaking terms.

“No thank you, Sir, I don’t need money for bread. Henry will be here tomorrow.”

“No, Ma’am, I don’t need to get in out of the cold tonight. My Henry is coming for me at half past seven.”

She had always spoken like this. There were rare rumors of times she took a bit of bread or a guest room for the night. But, these were mere rumors, you see. Not one was confirmed. It was always a friend of a relative from whom she took a biscuit, a relative’s friend who put her up for a winter night.

The woman had been in our town as long as anyone could remember. No one knew her age. When I first saw her face it had a few grey hairs and some wrinkles around her mouth that only showed when she spoke of Henry. That is, when she smiled.

No one understood how she survived. None of us ever saw her sleep. We had only heard of her eating. She never seemed emaciated or tired. She was simply sunbrown and filthy from being outside all of the time. It seemed her only source of food, of rest, of joy was this man on whom she waited. No one had ever seen him. Henry was the only person more mysterious to our town than the woman who waited for him.