(who is always late, but always comes),
the thought came to me that waiting
is what I've been doing all my life –
waiting for my wife to return from town,
waiting for the bus, the train, the plane,
waiting for Christmas, for the year to end.
It's not that I wait for some great event,
a climactic experience, a life-changing moment –I'm content that I don't wait for the shots to stop,
for the earthquake tremors and floods to cease,
or for the end of hopeless journeys on foot –
no, my waiting has been of the everyday kind.
Yet can it be that from the moment of birth
I've been waiting for the end, waiting for the moment
when someone closes my eyes and crosses himself?
No, indeed, my waiting is sitting in my armchair
looking out of the window at the trees and fields,
waiting for one more leaf to fall from the beech.
Richard Martin is an English writer who lives in the Netherlands close to the point where Belgium, Germany and Holland meet. After retiring as a university teacher in Germany, he turned his attention to writing, and has published three collections of poetry and numerous poems in magazines in England, the US, and Austria.