A Long-Waiting Wednesday
I sat in the car, in the back edge
of the strip-mall parking lot,
with the radio turned off,
so the battery wouldn’t run down,
leaving me stuck in the car-roof cave-sounding rain
even longer than the hour-and-a-half
I’d already been waiting there.
The tingling heat of single-thought anticipation
mixing with the growing chill
of a world of disappointment
fogged the windshield thicker
than I could continually smear down
with the back of my hand
as the wipers switched intermittently off and on.
Each time I wiped, after they wiped,
I gave in more and more to surrendering
to the actuality of admitting
she wasn’t going to come.
In the hand-smeared streaky clearness there was no
familiar hood approaching my car…never an umbrella
appearing at my side window. Nothing.
Nothing at all. Just me waiting alone,
wiping down the windshield
and each window that I could reach,
over and over again.
He was big and slow-seeming and had no looks
that you imagine women would comment about;
yet I bet he could catch a squirrel.
We’d had him over several times to community parties
and holiday meals during the past few years,
and I never heard him say much, just chuckle a lot.
I’d heard him and my wife laughing
in the kitchen a few times before
noticeably ahead of us all sitting down
at the table with bowed-heads for grace being said.
My wife and I have a calico cat
and a small mixed-breed terrier dog, both rescued,
that we let come inside after meals
and for the nights.
Now, a week after Thanksgiving,
I’m here fixing sourdough French toast and coffee
by myself for myself for breakfast
while now and then hearing the whining
of the young dog that wants to play
and the intermittent hisses of the cat that doesn’t.
I’ve scorched a lot of French toast and let
a lot of coffee get cold over the past few weeks
just by going to the door to look outside to see
if the whining is for welcoming her back
and if the hisses are the result
of her picking the cat up for a hug.
None. Neither. So far, never.
Not just yet.
Prior publications by Madison Adams: The Colorado Quarterly, Scree, Maelstrom Review, Minotaur, Grub Street, Rhino, Powhatan Review, Falling Star Magazine, Deep South Magazine, Scarlet Leaf Review