(A Prose Poem)

It is something everyone knows about.  It is something everyone experiences, countless times throughout their life.  And yet, like everything else in life, waiting changes with time.

When we are young and/or are lucky, waiting comes mostly in the form of petty annoyances.  We wait impatiently for a red light to turn green.  We roll our eyes at the sagging sky, waiting for the rain to stop.  We twist and crane our necks, wondering where the hell the waitress went.

Any one of these waits can make us pout, sigh, tap a foot, or groan.  Don’t they know we have other places to go?  Other things to do?  Don’t they know that this waiting is wasting my precious time?

When we are old, and/or are not so lucky, waiting can surround itself with a completely different atmosphere.  It can be bathed in a much darker, much more ominous color.

We wait for a test result that may tell us the rest of our days will be different, very different.  We wait for a light in the eastern sky that will tell us an endlessly swirling night of pain and confusion will soon be over.  We wait for a phone call that will tell us a life that has lingered on much too long has finally, finally come to an end.  We wait for a car that will take us away from a place we once called home.  Now, that same place is nothing more than an empty building owned by strangers.

Waits grow longer as time moves on.  They erect fragile walls of shifting sand.  They turn clock hands into motionless stone.  They convert the sounds of life into a silence that grows and expands like frost on steel. 

But like everything else controlled by time, sooner or later, waiting, too, will come to its last and final end.