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To Wait


is no great

bread.
It's tough

and mostly
tasteless

stuff.
You chew

and chew.
It's said

to be good
for you, but

it only fills.
Swallow it,

it swells.
And it must

be mildly
sodiate,

for its last
effect is just

like its first:
thirst. Take

birth, for
instance:

nine whole
months

a baby
keeps mum.

Take spring:
up north,

all time's
a sandwich

between thick
white crusts

of wintering.
Take anything

that bakes,
brews, builds,

or makes
appointments

more than a
few days out.

Take worry
and doubt.

And what's
hurry but a

hurried wait?
Every day

we wait for
night; every

night we wait
for morning.

Take warning.
Take endings,

especially
endings made

unnecessarily
(or, worse,

by excess
drivel or a

swiveling
syntax,

superficially)
delayed:

the wait
is what

a writer
spends

his brief
and bitter

tenure on
this breath-

taking, heart-
breaking

earth
making

every
ending

worth.


Todd Boss

Pitch
W. W. Norton


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