A Time of Waiting
Thursday 29th April 2021
A poem for the times.
Member of the English Department and poet, Mr Neil Elder, here shares with us his latest poem, ‘Ministry of Waiting’. Mr Elder’s collection, The Space Between Us, won the Cinnamon Press debut collection prize; his Codes of Conduct won their pamphlet prize. Also published: Being Present (2017), And The House Watches On (2020). In 2021 Like This will be published by 4Word. Occasional Blog https://neilelderpoetry.wordpress.com/
Ministry Of Waiting
Of course there are no clocks, or windows,
that might allow guests to track time.
And these days only people over forty
wear a watch, and we’re less concerned
about them. Mobile devices?
We block network signals so that guests
can go unbothered by distractions.
The décor is always neutral;
if anyone asks, which they don’t,
we tell them the colour is August Wheat,
but you and I can see it’s beige.
A pastel shade here or there,
a couple of abstract pictures,
nothing too involving, nothing too fussy.
New arrivals are the most tricky to placate,
a lot of pacing often occurs,
they fret about why they are here,
and for how long; adjustment can take time,
but every guest comes round at some point:
notice how their bodies mould themselves
to the shape of the furniture.
Now, let’s leave this Department
to look at another Ministry;
Suffering is near-by, or perhaps
you’re interested in Broken Promises?
Truth be told it could be some time
before anyone is called from Waiting.