Poem: The Waiting Room

The Waiting Room


Here I sit in the long pause
between one life and the next.
The room is pitch
but for the washed-out light
of the monitor before me.
Rain lashes the window,
whipped into a frenzy
by the crafty gods of Christmas,
juxtaposing the tears that flow
freely down my cheeks.

This was, perhaps, the coup de grâce,
delivered in the wrappings
of gentle sincerity.
How could I know?
It caught me by surprise,
softly slicing the tender flesh
of wounds thought to be healed.
Time is a tonic, but the course,
it seems, is not yet complete.

Sometimes, in the darkness
of this room, despite the miles
and the months between us,
I still see your wall of memories:
a montage of moments sneaks up
and blindsides me in an easy victory.

Love exists still, it’s true,
yet the balance of love and logic
takes the bite from this wait,
and despite the occasional glance
back over my shoulder
at the fading star you circle still,
my course is set on another
which grows with each new day;
even now I see a mote of orbiting truth,
a world that is my unwavering target.

When a life falls apart,
some would sit
in the resultant void,
in their bubble of bleakness
upon which the rain whips
a constant lament, the wind
circling, moaning, rattling
its empyreal chains.
But this waiting room is not for me;
though the past will ever stay
within sight, I have heard my name
called from afar, a lone heart
pulsing signals across the expanse.

I set you free on that day
when I turned away
to walk, in concrete shoes,
beside the green mile of our tiny lawn,
towards the waiting ferryman
and an undiscovered land.

Even now I rise from my seat,
bidding good day
to this room of abstractions
and the presumed souls
that wait alongside me,
whose pain is not mine.

It will not be the sadness
but the beauty of bygone days
that will be my foundation,
allowing wonder and light
to fill my finite future.

I won’t close the book on you,
I don’t desire a final goodbye
(after all, you possessed the magic
to fill this hollow man,)
but a new story beckons
with the promise of permanence,
insofar as evermore
can compose a final refrain,
beating a tattoo of brief echoes,
of that impending epic,
hurtling close to light-speed
out into the neverafter.

Copyright © 2018 Scott Kaelen
Featured in Not One Of Us

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