Anne Sexton

(9 November 1928 – 4 October 1974 / Newton, Massachusetts)

The Waiting Head Poem by Anne Sexton


If I really am walking with ordinary habit
past the same rest home on the same local street
and see another waiting head at that upper front window,
just as she would always sit,
watching for anyone from her wooden seat,
then anything can be true. I only know
how each night she wrote in her leather books
that no one came. Surely I remember the hooks
of her fingers curled on mine, though even now
will not admit the times I did avoid this street,
where she lived on and on like a bleached fig
and forgot us anyhow;
visiting the pulp of her kiss, bending to repeat
each favor, trying to comb out her mossy wig
and forcing love to last. Now she is always dead
and the leather books are mine. Today I see the head
move, like some pitted angel, in that high window.
What is the waiting head doing? It looks the same.
Will it lean forward as I turn to go?
I think I hear it call to me below

but no one came no one came
.

Submitted: Monday, March 29, 2010

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