Tuesday Poem – Waiting Up by Maryann Corbett

Not home. Not home yet. Four A.m. Unknot me,
God whom I less than half believe my help.
Damp down the pounding underneath my scalp.
Unhook the gut-tight line of fear that’s caught me
listening for cars, oh me of little faith.
They’ve seized their own lives, laughing, “Go to bed!”
And God, I hate her—hate the hag in my head
who mutters, praying through her gritted teeth,
make them come home, come home. God, shut her up.
Let me believe the thousand times they’ve come
home safe will make the door click one more time
and lock behind them. Free me from the trap
of thinking your ideas of safe and home
might not (My God!) be anything like mine.

(c) Maryann Corbett

I asked Maryann if she would like to comment on this poem and she said this…
“I didn’t begin writing poetry in earnest until my younger child left for college. That meant that thirty years of brain-rattling memories were there to be called on for material. For me, the experience of worry and anxiety is a true brain-rattler, and I’ve found that those are the experiences that call up the most deeply felt poems.”

As a mum who has done her share of waiting up, I understand too well the conflict it causes in the maternal brain and so  I totally relate to this poem. I especially like the fact that Maryann has managed to write so freely within the sonnet form.

Maryann poet
Maryann Corbett lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and works for the Minnesota Legislature. She is the author of two books of poems, Breath Control (David Robert Books, 2012) and Credo for the Checkout Line in Winter (Able Muse, forthcoming in September 2013). Her poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared in many journals in print and online, including River Styx, Atlanta Review, and Literary Imagination, as well as in a number of anthologies. New work appears in PN Review, 32 Poems, Modern Poetry in Translation and Alabama Literary Review, and is forthcoming in Barrow Street, Light, and Southwest Review.

Waiting Up comes from her first book Breath Control. Many thanks Maryann for permission to publish this poem.

To hear Maryann reading Credo for the Checkout Line in Winter from her about to be published 2nd book of the same name, click here and scroll down to the above title.

For more information and/or to order this book go to Maryann’s website here

To return to Tuesday Poem and read this week’s hub page where Harvey Molloy presents a beautiful poem by Saradha Koirala click here.