Honorable Mention Poetry: "Waiting"

by Linda Byrnes Mitchell ’89

I stole these words
from you, one at a time,
furtively threading conversations
on a string that once held pearls.
The clasp broke as you left and
I clutched falling words to myself
still warm in spite of the growing
distance. Did you know?

It’s been months since
we finger traced constellations
in the cold, naming the night—
Orion, Gemini, Ursa Minor.

I’ve kept your words
in a jar glowing on
the kitchen window sill,

On starless nights,
when I cannot stand the silence,
I walk to the end of the dock to throw
words far out over the lake.
Do you hear?
I am afraid of running out
of things to say.