western-motel 1957
Waiting for Me
by Tamara Madison

I keep waiting for me
to be done with the shower,
for the hot water to sooth my aches,
for the shower to tire of me, cut me off,
stop the stream of healing what will never heal.
I am waiting for my hand to reach out,
push the knob, stanch the flow.
I am still waiting for the towel, the lotion, the clothes,
waiting to be done with all this taking care of the vehicle that is my body.

I am waiting for you to get up from the table
to take your shower, shave, put on that old shirt with the hole in the sleeve
tie your shoes
find your glasses, your keys.
I’m waiting for you to say you’re sorry for what you said and the way you said it.
I keep waiting for you to mean it.
I am still waiting for you, as always.

I am waiting to be tired enough of the pickle I’ve put myself in to end it.
I am waiting to have finally had enough and this time to mean it.
I am still waiting for myself to finally cut the ropes that tie me
to this spot where I curse all the time, where I grumble and rage.
I am waiting for me to set myself free
while I still have feet to tread the earth
and the desire to move.

PAINTING: Western Motel by Edward Hopper (1957).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is yet another in a long line of poems expressing my ambivalence about a long-term relationship which I am, at last, working to extricate myself from.

madison 1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tamara Madison is a California native who began writing poems as soon as she could hold a pencil. She is the author of the chapbook, The Belly Remembers, as well as two full-length collections, Wild Domestic and Moraine, all published by Pearl Editions. Her work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including Silver Birch Press, Califragile, Sheila-Na-Gig, Worcester Review, Chiron Review, The Writers Almanac, and many others. Please check out her website, tamaramadisonpoetry.com.