O long-awaited, are you nearly here?I have not labored, I have idled. Oh, I have read, and read, and read: empires and parliaments, poets and explorers, bitter artists and puzzled scientists have been swept into the mulch bag of my sprawling, undisciplined mind. I have more riches in any odd corner of my brain than most yahoos will ever collect in a long gaping life: but what have I done with it all? Even to think of presenting my true account, on His return, is to burn with shame.
Is that your shadow I see from the window,
beginning to cross the field?
Everywhere I look, there are emblemsBut. It is yet another temptation of idleness, to brood on lost opportunity and the neglect of my Genius. The point is to work here, right here right now, with the tools I have. Because I have wormed my way up to a point of vantage, in spite of all that waste. And there is love to spend still.
from years of laboring: nettles
that stung my hands, fronds of palm
. . . I read tonightI am still here, improbable, improbable though that is. I am still here, and my grip is the hand-grip of thirty thanes. I am walking now on that dusky road, with the sudden conviction that even now -- even now -- someone is waiting.
that certain moths drink the tears
of sleeping birds, turning sorrow
into sustenance. O long awaited,
I have never left, I am still here.
*these verses are from Luisa Igloria's "Wanderer," from Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser.