Various and Sundry Poetry

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.