Who Hesitates

You in your universe
me in mine
approach intersections
we shy away from
We speak across
We nearly meet
and never infringe
out in the cold
“comfortably numb”
We hold our breath
greedy and hoping
to maintain borders
But suffocate ourselves

Sometimes we linger
in the chill
near warmer
Look backward at
or forward to
outpost campfires
In singular quandaries
move closer toward
the edge of
our event horizon
“The hour is getting late”

Let’s inhale deeply
yes separately
all the air we share
Exhaust and park breezes
These streets
of wounded beauty
and pine forests too
are crossings now
where people can
gratefully intrude

Make plans for
comings of age
the next holiday
a wilderness picnic
a block party
Welcome others
to a feast
of remembering
We make this together



Top photo Oak Street block party NOLA, courtesy Infrogmation; Bottom photo Broome Street block party NYC, courtesy David Packer


Author: Mary Jo Malo

Christian, mother, grandmother, and poet of occasional worth.

17 thoughts on “Who Hesitates”

    1. Thank you sincerely, Dave. Ironically, I wrote the rough draft of this poem about 15 years ago. It was part of my contribution to a collaborative effort with Steve Dalachinsky and August Highland in one of the many iterations of the Buffalo Poetics listserv group. Fun times!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Christy. People have always planned for better days no matter when or where they’ve lived. The hesitation we sometimes feel trying to cross the bridge of communication with others is often uncomfortable under normal conditions!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I love this. It’s so beautiful and true. I hope everything has been going well with you. I’ve been missing out on your beautiful poetry while staying in my own universe for too long. I’m so glad to see you here. Love to you and Happy Earth Day!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Sheila! Thank you, and it’s so lovely to see you again too. You haven’t missed much, since I only recently launched the blog. As you know I greatly enjoyed your wonderful novel, so don’t be a stranger. Keep writing and Happy Earth Day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What an incredible poem, Mary Jo. This isolation and loneliness factor is more prevalent in first world countries than here, where many of our people are not able to separate themselves from others as they share ablutions and cooking facilities. Every grouping of people’s problems and issues equally terrible but so different.

    Liked by 1 person

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