Today’s prompt is to write a poem titled: “Waiting for (blank).” I don’t want this to be inevitable. I am writing out of my anxiety tonight.
Waiting for History
Waiting for History to repeat herself
is turning me into a statue of salt.
She sits next to me in the cafe,
stirs a load of sugar into her brew:
“It takes the edge off the inevitability,”
she tells me. “Inevitability is bitter, Girl.
It twists my gut into knots.”
She pours the cream,
sloshing it all over the counter,
and grabs a scone from her plate.
Her elbow sends the coffee mug
careening to the counter’s edge.
“I knew that would happen,”
she says, waving her butter knife
a little too close to my face.
I want to grab her, yell,
“Slow down a minute, Hon.
Relax. Take your time to settle in.
Concentrate on what you’re doing
right here in this moment,”
but she seems to be reading my mind.
“Impossible,” she blurts,
scattering crumbs across the counter top.
A dollop of jelly plops off her scone
and into her coffee. “I can’t slow down,
can’t settle, can’t give you time
to catch your breath on this one, Babe.”
Outside, snow curls out of the mist,
and voices call out sharply.
I’ve heard them all before:
Protect the Fatherland.
Eliminate the immigrants.
This is the time to show our
strength, to flex our iron arm.
“It’s beginning,” says History,
one elbow in the puddle of coffee,
the other in the wayward jam.
“I’ve heard it all before, Girl.
It’s the same damn grind,
over and over again.”
I sip my coffee black.
She draws out the syllables
and hands me the cream.