Waiting for this year to end

Waiting for this year to end like waiting
for the second line of a poem — the first,
a recursive imperative that keeps looping
back to an undefinable beginning. The

days have to be rolled uphill, a Sisyphean
production in which the movement of time
is a measure of naked ineptitude. We wake
together at midnight, this is when the

gradient sharpens and darkness needs to be
pushed with two hands— sweaty, grimy hands
that have touched skin and broken promises—
with dawn the stone will slip again, past lips

and waists and lies and feet. All this in the
space of a day, in the space of an empty
second line, this year that should end like
a poem, but is always one damn word away.

43 thoughts on “Waiting for this year to end

  1. I love the opening stanza, Rajani – it was like that for me too! Just recently everything seems to be an uphill struggle, not just for me but worldwide. The ending is perfect.

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  2. When does it ever complete, the year, the poem? Where does my father end and I begin, especially now that he’s gone? Watchworks like these pronounce both the need for closure and the infinite openings which prevent that, the silent More resounding from Enough? The Sisyphean trope works itself finely here in the difficulty of staring it all over again — next damn day, next year, next poem. Yet here we are …

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  3. This is gorgeously worded, Rajani!❤️ I especially resonate with; “We wake together at midnight, this is when the gradient sharpens and darkness needs to be pushed with two hands.”

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  4. It is nigh on a year Ranjani since I read (your always) wonderful words, spoilt myself with the pleasure of reading same.
    Your thoughts (above) on the oft disappointment of a coming New Year are those of many. Wonderfully rendered.
    Anna :o]

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  5. I’m smiling as I read the last line. One word seems to trip us—and the year—up as though we were nothing, nothing at all. And I guess, in the long run, we really ARE nothing, aren’t we? Hmm…

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  6. That metaphor of hands (of broken promises) pushing the darkness away, leaves me to think of all the plans that were made throughout the year and never completing but wanting the time to get it done. The difficulty and regret of not getting everything done.
    Just thought going through my head as I read this. Thank you Rajani.

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  7. The line that keeps repeating and the desire to move on and yet not finding the words. It begins to feel like such a heavy burden, and yet is so small could slip between the fingers.

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  8. An uncomfortably apt description of frustrated anticipation. Really well written. I especially love the phrase, “the movement of time is a measure of naked ineptitude.”

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  9. Lovely writing. We keep pushing and too often that rock falls backward. But, we’ll just have to keep pushing even if we find that first word of the second line.

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  10. Although I tend to love “in-between” times and spaces, this piece perfectly speaks to my experience about those not-quite-one-thing-or-another moments that feel exhausting to get through. We want to shake off the old (and perhaps set it on fire for good measure) but for some reason or another we can’t make the jump to the new just yet.

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