Here I stand face to face with my own mortality
and the waning interest of friends
who have no inclination to peer into the skies
at an ungodly hour, scanning the horizon
without the faintest notion
of where Scorpio can be found.
Lacking binoculars and with a naked eye,
I look about in the dark
for the clock with a luminous dial.
Vaporous clouds are sliding past my window.
Without notice ice-cubes rearrange themselves
in my glass.
I am certain now that those with whom I speak
must be immortal. To the child who was born
after Easter—I bequeath one gift—
that he find his universe both predictable
and worthy of observation—
even at inconvenient times when Halley returns.
I ask to be remembered as one of those who
when it is getting late—as someone willing
to be awakened from deep sleep
to wait in the darkness as long as I can wait.
from her book The Other Side of Sleep
Portals Press, 1995
used with permission of the poet’s son and with special permission of Portals Press
Listen to John Gery reading Maxine Cassin’s