Waiting

I put my mind to it and did write a villanelle for the dverse prompt, though without having recourse to slant rhymes. True rhymes are quite difficult enough.

 

This waiting is like death that creeps so slow.

When anguish settles too deep to displace

The hardest part is fearing, not to know.

 

I keep the lamps lit, sit in firelight’s glow,

Stare into flames, and though they grow apace,

This waiting is like death that creeps so slow.

 

When midnight chimes, the fire’s burning low

And I should sleep, but dare not leave my place—

The hardest part is fearing, not to know.

 

Whatever keeps you, you would let it go

If you could hear my heart, its frantic race;

This waiting is like death that creeps so slow.

 

There’s nothing I own that I’d not bestow

To have you safe, held in my arms’ embrace,

The hardest part is fearing, not to know.

 

Like standing by the sea, watching tides flow,

Straining to see a sail through spindrift’s lace,

Is this deathly waiting, killing me so slow,

And the hardest part is fearing what I know.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

21 thoughts on “Waiting”

  1. I love that change to the last line; the hardest part is fearing what I know. It touches me deeply right now. The waiting is so scary, the heart racing, the uncertainty. So well captured Jane

  2. I can feel that the waiting is so agonizing slow like waiting for bad news to break out. This is a good repetitive line with suble shift: The hardest part is fearing, not to know. (to knowing in the end). Thanks for joining in Jane.

  3. Your spngs are reminding me of spngs tonight h ere is one of thr most beautiful songs ever.It’s the late Marty Balin’s “Comin’ Back To Me”
    Hope you enjoy this…

    1. Me too. I’m not a fan of using half-rhymes (slant rhymes seems like weasel words to me) except where no rhyme is expected. The whole point of a villanelle is the rules that make it, one of them being the strict rhyme scheme. That’s why it fell from favour. If you don’t like rhymes, write a free verse poem. Nobody is going to convince me that ‘afternoon’ and ‘queen’ rhyme even slantwise 🙂

  4. I like a villanelle where the repetitions add to the mood of the poem. I can feel the tension building through this, and then everything sinking into desolation at the end. The subtle changes are deft and work so well.

    1. Thank you! I keep telling myself I’m not going to write any more villanelles because they’re hard to get right, but it’s so satisfying when they do come out right.

  5. I had in mind a mother waiting for a daughter to come home from a night out. The way the last line changed points to something else though. Rhythmic in spite of the painful topic.

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