“Waiting” by Christine Webster-Hansen

Eyes linger, unchanged photos thickened with dust,
body-locked, estranged face gazing at the mirror,
clutching at the mind, recalling memories dimly-flung,
cycling again through sitcom and rerun.
Bras holding the biblical fall,
suspended breasts clasped above the journey’s end.

L-shaped and bedboard-backed,
I watch nurses pacing musty halls.
An assistant enters (childish talk),
to leave a tray of ham and packaged
pudding. She leaves as I lift the ham
to drape my fork like rubber.

How can I bring you here?
What bone might break or pain divulge
to trigger an ambulance trip?
How may I entice your worry?
If only I could bake on shaking legs
to roll your favorite croissant.

“Misdial” you, something to ask,
what dumb question to make the furloughed hour last?
How much time, the newly sprouted grays,
lamenting books and film and puzzle-seeing eyes,
the smart conversation.

I drift to your soccer game as you near the goal,
your cleats ripping at the grass.
The crowd cheers as you foot the ball,
but a sudden image forms and squawks,
my palm pressed on the remote control.

I sigh, long and slow, the hundred-plus days,
routine shifts and rolling carts.
My eyes float to the window
where the sun lights between the clouds,
warming grass as I await your visit,
hoping that today you will come

Christine Webster-Hansen teaches English in NJ where she lives with her husband and two cats. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Maudlin House, Halfway down the Stairs, Neologism Poetry Journal, Ariel Chart International Literary Journal, Canary, and AGON.

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