Guest Poet Camille Curry

The Sorrow of Waiting

Sometimes it is the anticipation
of getting new breasts
or the wrinkles wiped off you face
like tears.

Sometimes it is only for fixing things--
a broken kneecap from a wet floor,
a cut that cries for stitches.

But mostly, it's for broken hearts
that, like clocks,
have not been wound.

A loose screw here, there
or an alarm that's lost its spark.

And you can't see how long you've waited
in the dark.

But it's the finger tapping,
pacing waiting that I despise,

how he diverts his eyes
when you say his name,

an old token, the hollow egg
begging for a compromise.

It is a prayer
for waiting is always done alone,

it's the crossing your fingers 
that he'll come home.

The ache of newness that was lost
is expectation turned to frost.

When the singing wings that used to fly
are waiting for goodbye.

August, 1998

Camille Curry's Questions:

Is there clear, consistent emotion throughout the poem? It is too rhymy near the end or too choppy at the beginng?

Correspond with Camille Curry at
with your ideas about this poem.

The Albany Poetry Workshop