Tomorrow's Child


Wet cobblestones on a rainy night.
A streetlamp glimmers a little nearby:
Not really casting much light in the dampness.
It looks like fog will roll in, but it hasn't yet.

Friday's child hasn't shown up yet.
She's a little unreliable sometimes,
But she said she'd be here.
My shoes scuff a bit against the cobblestones
And it's getting chillier as night deepens:
I'm glad I dressed warmly.

I'm thinking I should have brought a book
But there isn't really enough light to read by,
Next to the lamppost,
And it's too misty anyway.
I chafe a bit, hands in deep coat pockets,
scuffing the cobblestones some more.

I never know how long to wait:
Usually she shows up eventually,
Sometimes even early.
On a pretty night, I can listen to music
Coming from the cafes that line the street.
In the summer they stay open late,
And there's always something to see while waiting.
In the wintertime, it's damp
And people walk by huddled in coats and thick scarves
Too chilled to stop by the lamppost and wait with me.

I could go on alone
Instead of waiting for her,
And some nights I do, if I've had to wait too long
And the lights from home are calling to me
And I get impatient.
But it's nicer to walk together
On a winter's evening
With tomorrow's child.

Not my best work, but a good example of what happens when you spend several nights in a row waiting around for a not-so-punctual friend while writing a book set in 1890's central Europe. Consider yourself warned.

Copyright © 2006 by Leigh Grossman