Waiting to be Called

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Please Wait to be Called,

The sign said

So I did.

I waited and waited

At the head of the queue

outside the pearly gates

And when, growing impatient,

I stepped forward,

St. Peter held up his hand:

“There seems to be some problem,”

He said.

“You’ll have to wait a little longer,”

I stamped my feet a little

When a light flashed overhead

& a door opened behind

& I was whooshed back

To the operating theatre where the surgeons

Had revived me

One step from paradise.

2061

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[written in 1986, the day before]

 

I suppose

I will hold your hand

That night

The comet passes over

And I will guide your young, young eyes

And show you its starry path

Across these Southern skies

And say,

“Look, that is the comet”

And you will stare in wonder with me

And perhaps we will never be

This close again.

And I will say,

“Look closely. One day when you

Are very, very old

You will tell your children what it was like

On this day”

And they will hold your hand

That day in 2061

And ask you,

“Did grandma and grandma see it with you?”

And you will shake

Your tired old eyes

And remember

Though we will long be dust

Like a comet’s tail.