felix-feneon-at-the-revue-blanche-1896
Waiting for a Reply
by J. J. Steinfeld

three or four words
that break the sadness
not all that much to request

fill out the form
hand it in
wait for a reply

I’ve been waiting here
for longer than I can remember
the room overcrowded

fill out the form
hand it in
wait for a reply

I understand there have been errors
a name misspelled, a number inaccurate
the intricacies of sadness abundant

fill out the form
hand it in
wait for a reply

how about one word
that fools the sadness
not all that much to request

fill out the form
hand it in
wait for a reply

is that why you’re so sad
having to deal with people like me
making unreasonable requests?

fill out the form
hand it in
wait for a reply

SOURCE: “Waiting for a Reply” was first published in Poetry Quarterly.

IMAGE: “Felix Feneon at the Revue Blanche” by Felix Vallotton (1896).

J. J. Steinfeld - Photo by Brenda Whiteway (3)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Canadian fiction writer, poet, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published 15 books, including Disturbing Identities (Stories, Ekstasis Editions), Should the Word Hell Be Capitalized? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Anton Chekhov Was Never in Charlottetown (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Would You Hide Me? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), An Affection for Precipices (Poetry, Serengeti Press), Misshapenness (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), A Glass Shard and Memory (Stories, Recliner Books), and most recently, Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions). His short stories and poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and periodicals internationally, and over 40 of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in Canada and the United States.