I love this poem by Emily Dickinson about waiting, especially about waiting to see someone you love. The rhythm and rhyme scheme in this poem feels a little heavy to me, and a little forced, but I love the idea behind the poem so much. I’m sure we’ve all experienced that countdown. Some days my little boy counts down the hours (and minutes) until Daddy comes home from work (and the video games begin). But waiting for someone when you don’t know when you’ll see them again? That’s much much harder. I remember my grandmother, a widow for a good twenty years before her own death (she never married again), always said good-night to a picture of her husband hanging in the family room. To wait is difficult. To wait faithfully for an afterlife, having no proof, to see your sweetheart again– that strikes me as very difficult indeed.


If you were coming in the Fall,
I’d brush the Summer by
With half a smile, and half a spurn,
As Housewives do, a Fly.

If I could see you in a year,
I’d wind the months in balls–
And put them each in Separate Drawers,
For fear the numbers fuse–

If only Centuries, delayed,
I’d count them on my Hand,
Subtracting, till my fingers dropped
Into Van Dieman’s Land.

If certain, when this life was out–
That yours and mine, should be
I’d toss it yonder, like a Rind,
And take Eternity–

But, now, uncertain of the length
Of this, that is between
It goads me, like the Goblin Bee–
That will not state– its sting.


2 thoughts on “Waiting

  1. Forced as it may be, I love this type of poetry. I also love your words. I think I usually am counting down the minutes till daddy comes home… 🙂

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