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I, Too, Am Waiting
by Margaret Dornaus

—for Lawrence F., May He Rest in Peace

I, too, am waiting
for the green mornings . . .
for that promise of immortality—
or at least for the Second Coming I might find
in a toddler’s laugh or a visionary’s howl
or in the Rin-Tin-Tin tabulation
of a keyboard’s keys or a snare drum’s
brush when a jazz singer lifts his or her hands
in the air and belts out his or her praises, beat
after shining beat for an audience too hip for
the likes of me when I deliver a pitch-perfect poem
full of green mornings and youth’s green fields
returning or Lorca’s green love greening, no matter
how dumb that sounds, no matter how I sound
more than a little bit crazy for wanting so
much for myself in a world where green mornings are
rare, overshadowed by greed and despair and dare
I say it—bloodlust!—in favor of this green
morning and all the green mornings I am forever
grateful for, forever waiting for, this one
and the next and the next for as long as
it lasts, for as long as it takes, baby
I am still waiting

PAINTING: A Green Thought in a Green Shade by Helen Frankenthaler (1981).

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Long before this age of virtual reality, there were people I felt I knew through their words and principles. Lawrence Ferlinghetti was one of those people. His legacy as a poet, painter, and publisher made it possible for me to think of him as more than an acquaintance—something I might actually be able to claim today if only I’d followed through with my intention to drop by City Lights for an impromptu heart-to-heart with him 20 years ago. Alas, I never actually got around to that meeting, even though I’d packed my treasured pocket edition of Ginsberg’s Howl in my bag for the occasion and meant to circle back to the bookstore after indulging myself with a walking tour of The Haight (followed by brunch and a Golden Gate cruise that ended with an extended chat with sunbathing sea lions). Anyway, I think we would have hit it off. At least I hope so.

PHOTO: Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919-2021) in a 1996 photo outside City Lights, the bookstore he founded in San Francisco in 1953. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Margaret Dornaus holds an MFA in the translation of poetry from the University of Arkansas. She recently had the privilege of editing and publishing a pandemic-themed anthology—behind the mask: haiku in the time of Covid-19through her small literary press, Singing Moon. Her first book of poetry, Prayer for the Dead: Collected Haibun & Tanka Prose, received a 2017 Merit Book Award from the Haiku Society of America, and she received a 2020 Best of the Net nomination from MacQueen’s Quinterly for her haibun “Late-Night Inventory.” Her poems appear frequently in national and international anthologies and journals, including Contemporary Haibun Online; Global Poemic; Journeys 2015: An Anthology of International Haibun; Red Earth Review; The Ekphrastic Review; The Lindenwood Review; and The Red River Book of Haibun.