Andrew C Mackinnon: ‘The Waiting’

The Waiting

Wind across the plateau.
Sleet and snavelled snow.
Tiers were misting over.
Darkness sifting low.
His trudging through the drifts,
The crackling fangs of ice.
Mountain hut unseen
And luck was tumbling dice.

Currawong their click song,
His frozen mind astute.
Blackening night was white;
His eye-sight cold acute.
Aware his darling family
Alone forlorn adrift.
Distant light a-glimmer,
The mirkish moon to lift.

Snow-drift hut nigh hidden,
Shingles frozen tight.
Mother, child quite famished,
Her man caught out at night.
Time was ticking late,
Moonlight soon full-tide.
The cabin door, the rattle.
Devils lurk outside!

Her prayers go forth to meet him.
Anxiety the ache.
Death so white in darkness,
Keep calm, he’s not to take.
Her spirit, deepest love;
His thoughts aware the fear.
Trudging onward ever trudge,
The frozen tarns unclear.

The spoorless track be lifeless;
Birds their ruffled sleep.
The final stoep, the hut.
Her cry. His knock. They weep.
Joy in laughter sobbing,
The darling child’s delight.
Hearth-fire fierce a-gusto;
Their tears caress the night.

Andrew C Mackinnon

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