Robert Penn Warren
Waiting - Poem by Robert Penn Warren
You will have to wait. Until it. Until The last owl hoot has quavered to a
Vibrant silence and you realize thre is no breathing Beside you, and dark curdles toward dawn. Until
Drouth breaks, too late to save the corn, But not too late for flood, and the dog-fox, stranded
On a sudden islet, barks in hysteria in the alder-brake.
Until the doctor enters the waiting room, and His expression betrays all, and you wish He'd take his God-damned hand off your shoulder. Until
The woman you have lived with all the years Says, without rancor, that life is the way life is, and she
Had never loved you, had believed the lie only for the sake of the children.
Until you become uncertain of French irregular verbs And by a strange coincidence begin to take Catholic instruction from Monsignor O'Malley, who chews a hangnail. Until
You realize, truly, that our Saviour died for us all, And as tears gather in your eyes, you burst out laughing,
For the joke is certainly on Him, considering What we are. Until
You pick the last alibi off, like a scab, and Admire the inwardness, as beautiful as inflamed flesh
Or summer sunrise. Until you
Remember, suprisingly, that common men have done good deeds. Until it
Grows on that, at least, God
Has allowed us the grandeur of certain utterances.
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