Posts Tagged ‘waiting’



Just a few steps from the house

I find a place to sit on a rock

and wait for the trill of the red wing blackbird.


I have waited twenty years to hear it here

in my back yard full of water and willows

and quiet. All day, though intermittent, I’ve heard it.


Funny how much I enjoy the waiting tonight—

perhaps because I know that eventually

the bright call will come. It is, perhaps, like a girl,


waiting through her first date for her first kiss—

she’s pretty sure it will happen, and now, after

years of waiting, she suddenly has


all the time in the world. In fact, the waiting

is delicious—like champagne, dry, with tiny bubbles.

Like summer’s first raspberries—a little too tart,


and yet sweet enough to eat another and another.

I sit in the goldening world and wait and wait.

I listen to the jays as they squawk and the warbler’s


sharp chirp. The wind teases my hair and I wait

until I forget I am waiting, simply noticing the world.

By the time I hear the familiar trill, it greets me


like the old friend it is, then it’s silent again.

The way the sun seems most lovely just before it’s gone,

that’s how the silence holds me.

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Today it’s the hummingbirds that save me.

Not because I see one. Because I don’t.

Every year, the broad-tailed hummingbirds

arrive at our feeders the third week of April.

This year, they’ve yet to arrive.

How many other joys have I been awaiting

that are yet to materialize?

It is hard to spend a life waiting, and yet

this one impatience I meet with trust.

Every year, there are hummingbirds.

They return. And when they come,

we’ll feed them. We’ll admire their furious

wings. We’ll forget they were late.

We’ll delight in their curious hum.


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Pulling the long red radish bulbs

from the garden, I marvel

at their pinkness, rub off the dirt,

bite into the crisp white flesh.

There are few tastes that bite

just right this way—make the mouth

happy to be a mouth and it teaches me,

without trying, that sometimes

when we wait too long,

a thing turns bitter. But oh, get

the timing right, my god, it’s sweet.

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beneath the soil,

the paperwhites prepare

for tall and musky ecstasy—

the waiting, also an invitation

to admire, to say thank you

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I know that things just don’t grow if you don’t bless them with your patience.

            —First Aid Kit, Emmylou



There are gardens in me

where I have tried

to make things bloom

out of season—

how difficult it can be

to let a seed do

what a seed does

all on its own,

especially in a time

of drought when I fear

the seed may not grow at all

if I don’t help it

grow more quickly.

And so I let soil

be my teacher.

How perfectly

it waits, letting

the world feed it.

How easily it

partners with rain,

with sun, with time.

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One Game





a Frisbee we toss

between heartbeats

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Wait until the necessary and everlasting overpowers you, until day and night avail themselves of your lips. 

—Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Essays and Lectures”



I believe in ripeness, the wisdom

of waiting. Here on my counter,

the melon sweetens and softens.

The peppers slowly turn from green

to red. The tomatoes become less

like stones and more like kisses.

Terrible to taste an early grape,

the way its sharp juice rucks

the soft lips. Terrible to eat

the berry before it’s earned

its blush. And still, the misery

of waiting—how eagerness

rises up in us, a surge of please,

a tide of want, a rush of now.

Yes, to the wait, the awful wait,

how this trial of patience

brings us closer to ourselves,

how it makes the future inevitable

ever that much sweeter.

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Last year’s wild roses

have not yet discovered

it’s spring—the brambles

are barren and barbed.

What else is there but

to trust that the green leaves

and petals will come? What

else but to stand in our

own barrenness and believe?

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            November 8, 2016



When you see the clouds

and you know the gray

is the shade of gray

that ends in a mudslide,

and then comes the rain

you knew would come,

stiff rain and merciless.

But this is not about

the wall of mud that eventually

finds every room of your house.

This is about

the way you have plenty of time

to put on your boots

and grab your shovel

and your hat and your coat

and stand out in the rain

before there is any sign of mud

creeping down the hills,

that interval while the destruction

is still just an idea,

the inside of your home

still clean, still dry.

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6:15 a.m.




All night I waited for the sound of bells to wake me.

I waited so long I wondered if they had been rung

but I had not heard. I wondered if I had forgotten


what bells sounded like. I wondered if the ringer of bells

had overslept and I should go wake her or rise

and ring the bells myself. And when at last the bells


were swung and charged the air of the halls

with their bright brass song, I laughed out loud in the dark,

amazed I could believe I’d forgotten the sound of bells.


What else do I think I’ve forgotten that is so wholly present here?

Some sense of purpose? Some sense of communion?

Some understanding of what it means to love?


What if these things are clear, clear as the sound

of bells? Oh fool who waits and waits for something

to appear. Is it possible whatever your waiting for is here?

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