Five of them were
foolish, and five were wise. . .
“Keep therefore awake, for you know neither the day nor
the hour.” (Mt 25:2, 13)
And I’m tired, always tired, and so stiff
like a thing stuck to card with a pin,
cold arms and echoing chest as I wait
for you to come home and I check
the traffic flow clockwise on the M25,
and wonder what state you’ll be in –
and I always think that things will get better,
that the sky will eventually widen, hills ripple again,
that morning will tug at my trousers and I will walk free –
though for now I just try to do everything right,
press piles of your hankies, hang trousers, stack plates
to clatter the silence – until the clock stops.
But that snort from your engine still proves me unwise:
while I fretted and folded, I somehow forgot
to get out there and open the gates.
If you have any comments on this poem, Annette Wolfing
would be pleased to hear them.