Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Minutes - Tiggy Johnson


I glance at the clock
sure half an hour’s passed.
A minute has. One minute.
I look at the ceiling. Suppress tears.
Wonder if fifty years will pass
before hand-over time.
I circle the room, moving
in slow, steady steps.
Need to clear my mind.
Need to stop the noise.
It hurts to stand. To walk.
But the screaming’s subsiding.
I persist. Focus on the pain,
hope it’ll block the noise.
Son cradled in my arms
still crying, but not so desperate.
I want to look at the clock again, but
I expect only another minute
has passed and I don’t want to count,
one by one, the twenty-eight minutes
until I expect my husband back.
I hum. Sing. ‘Hush little baby...’
I rock as the words screech
He seems to be calming. I hope.
The verse is finished and I don’t know
what the next one is, what happens
to the diamond ring?
I have to think. Need to know
But the words don’t come in time
He cries louder, I’m rocking, humming.
The diamond ring? I have to know.
‘Hush little baby...’ The diamond ring?
‘If that mockingbird...’ Shit. The ring?
The clock. Twenty-four minutes to go.
I walk quickly as if it’ll help me remember.
Then, it comes. I smile. Relieved.
‘If that diamond ring don’t shine...’
Hum the rest. What if it doesn’t shine?
But I’m over it. Couldn’t care less.
I repeat the first line. Over. And over.
The crying stops. He’s looking at me.
Smiling? He’s tiny. Cute. Mine.
Still has that new baby smell.
Can’t help but to smile back.
‘Hush little baby...’ I’m still walking circles.
‘Daddy’s gonna buy...’ I hear a car in the driveway.
Move to the front window. Sing ‘Daddy’s home.’
But I’ve forgotten it’s hand-over time and
Daddy walks in and kisses both of us.
‘Hush little baby...’

Tiggy Johnson
(first appeared in Tamba 38: Winter 2006)

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I love this poem :)