by Lisa Wiley

I am waiting for my morning coffee to cool,
my neurotransmitters to fire properly,

the sky to make up her mind
and to open my sunflower umbrella.

I am waiting for Harper Lee to publish one more,
to meet a fierce, new character

who sets my teeth on edge.
I’m waiting for the day I finish my list,

everything on a yellow Post-It
crossed off before I add one more thing.

I am listening for my number to be called
at the deli counter of life

to order every ounce just the way I want
while the other customers wait in line.

Waiting for this train to carry me
to work or salvation — whichever arrives first.

How will I know when I am saved?
When you sit here beside me

and our hands intertwine?
Always waiting for deliverance —

don’t we all want another chance
to stumble home again

Lisa Wiley Picture-1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Wiley is an English professor at Erie Community College in Buffalo, New York, where she co-hosts the Just Buffalo Literary Cafe series. She is the author of Chamber Music, a chapbook of 21 villanelles (Finishing Line Press, 2013).  Her poetry has appeared in Earth’s Daughters, The Healing Muse, Medical Journal of Australia, Rockhurst Review, San Pedro River Review, and Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine.

PAINTING: “Compartment C, Car 293” by Edward Hopper (1938).