[Poem] Waiting, by John Eppel


I count the falling frangipani leaves.
Early April, the nights are growing cold;
the scent of wood smoke sours as neighbours burn
their household rubbish; every now and then
a discarded aerosol can explodes
triggering memories of another time,
another place, another war.

So quickly do they change from fluid green
to yellowish, to desiccated brown;
and yet, the drop, the clatter, ages takes;
takes ages: either way. In terminal
cymes some flowers remain, as white as wax,
mingling the bitter sweets of paradise
with odours of anxiety.

Like sharpening blades on steel the plovers cry
as homeless people wander near their nests
waiting for news, waiting for results. Who
will it be? These falling leaves remind me
that the day has come and gone for ballots
to be counted, results announced, and I’m
afraid that change will never come.

(c) John Eppel, 2008

About the author

John Eppel is an award-winning poet, novelist and short story writer. His books include the novels, D.G.G. Berry’s The Great North Road ( Carrefour-Hippogriff, 1992); Hatchings (Carrefour, 1993) and The Giraffe Man (Queillerie, 1994). His latest novel, The English Teacher (extract) is due out shortly from amaBooks.

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