all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein

all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein
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Friday, July 07, 2006

waiting for the yes


















While I was watching for the mail truck to deliver
the good news about my recent poetry submission
to the well-known literary review in the Midwest,
I neglected to take advantage of the weather
to go for swim in the town pool,
which is lovely, really, all those families,
the jublinant twittering of children on vacation,
the popsicles on sale, the smell of suntan lotion,
the high dive, the reckless splashings of Marco Polo,
the sunlight on skin, the langorous readers poolside,
the July romancers, the boys racing the boys to the deep end,
the girls coy and testy, then forgiving as liquid,
the lifeguard prowess, the rule-bending, the promise
of a movie later, of a friend over, pizza, midnight bedtimes.

While I was sitting on my haunches, listening like a dog
into the air for the sound of the mail truck,
while I was sniffing the sky and waiting for the yes,
the yes was happening all around me,
full glorious unapologetic color,
small births everywhere, electricity and daring,
the slide of noon into three o'clock into 4,
and then something of the sun peeling back,
edging away from itself, something gentle unfolding
and giving the swimmers permission to lay out,
faces slack and happy,
and take in what was left of the day's heat.

I wasn't there, of course, but now,
now that the mail's gone and all I've got
is a handful of drugstore circulars,
a Crate and Barrel catalog and
a small, too-thin return envelope,
I wish I hadn't been so patient,
and I wish I wasn't so specific with what I wanted,
and I wish the pool was open past 5,
and I wish I had more baskets for my eggs,
and I wish and I wish and I wish.

It is almost this pointless to wait,
linger over the what if,
deliberate the opening and closing
of the mailbox door as if life itself
were waiting there, poised to bloom.
Look outside, I tell myself.
That's where blooming happens.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey, at least you got a crate and barrel catalog! ;) i hate the when i see my own handwriting on those skinny return "thanks but no thanks" letters. so frustrating.
- meegan
www.notsosimple.net/simple

GoGo said...

Good luck with the submission. It sounds like you know what you need to do tomorrow. I appreciate how you spiral between the surface and the undercurrent of the emotions expressed. There is always something more to your writing, always something lingering between the words.

snowsparkle said...

ah, this "forgiving as liquid" and just everything about this piece makes me relax into my life and let go of stingy wishes. in zen class, the instructor once said that if we open to it, life gives us so much more than our own stingy wishes ever will. your post is a prefect expression of this concept. thank you! I say "yes!" to you and your writings!

GailNHB said...

It is far too easy to miss the "yes" all around us, Maya. To miss the glory of the day, the sound of children laughing, the refreshing rush of ice water down our parched throats. This evening I was at a church function, and I was the only woman who ran and played soccer with the kids. Why? Why don't we get up and run, play, laugh, sweat, and let our hair fall into our faces? Yes! Yes! And again, yes! Enjoy the rest of today and tomorrow and the day after that. Rain or shine. Please keep writing and sharing your words and your life with us. Bye for now, Gail

lisrobbe said...

I hope you get your yes, I love reading your work it s so good.

la vie en rose said...

there's a comfort in knowing the yes's keep happening all around us...and that we do have the choice to join in...

MB said...

Love those last two lines.