“Between-Living” by Edith L. Tiempo.

When we love a wanderer,
We wait for footsteps
That may, or may not, come:
First the hours-the-days-
Then-years. Then, never.
Yet always we do know
Whereof we wait:
The creaking gate
The scraping of the steps
And at the door the level gaze;
For these we wait to know
The roving one is home.

We boast of a green thumb
And coax the stems to bloom:
Hibiscus, santan, the wholesome
Cabbage rose; and make ambitious room
For gardenias, irises, and orchids
(Taking time to scour the aphids),
And maybe, soon or late
The flowers show;
But always we do know
Whereof we wait:
The nectar and the odors,
And the windblown blazing colors.

So it’s the space between
The wishing and the end
That is the true unknown;
The massive world’s timekeeping
And our own agile flow
Never to blend.

And thus we care,
And thus we live
Not for the end
(Since that is not unknown),
It is the wait, creative
Life and love in full;
Unfinished, uncertain, unknown,
Yet mocking the known end
That comes sooner,
Later, or not at all.

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