The Anticipating Hour

A Poem

By Jessica Robertson


Shifting, in the anticipation of
a reaction, refraction, contraction,
an expulsion: explosive change
after which things won’t be the same
all will rearrange
make way for new names.

Throb, convulse, periodically pulse,
breath bated, words weighted, mind elated
at realms of prospects to assume,
mass of newly fathomed atoms
ready to consume
first breath of custom:
oxygen devoured post-rupture,
creative force of the womb world-ridden,
the hopeful awaited shift of structure
to begin. But dreams derail in collision.

It was sweet in the anticipating
hour, with all alternatives unlocked.
When we didn’t have to tussle,
secure comfort before we knew
reality’s wrestle,
what we’d be, and do.