The Woman Waits

          “And she put her widow’s garments off from her, and covered her with a veil,
          and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place.”
                                                                                               –Genesis 39:14

but for how long? Already she is bending
like a wilted acacia stem beneath the Canaan sun.

Ahead of her glance the road stretches,
covered with the footprints of others gone before.

How long will she wait? And is she waiting for
the stranger in painted robes, her father-in-law,

her husband, perhaps, you? But she is thirty,
already calculating what she should do with the rest

of her day, with the basket of fruit at her feet, figs
and apples, a skin of wine, with her empty womb.

Jeannine Hall Gailey is a Seattle-area writer whose first book, Becoming the Villainess, was recently published by Steel Toe Books. Her poems have appeared on Verse Daily and in journals like The Iowa Review, The Evansville Review, The Columbia Poetry Review, and others. She is a poetry editor for Silk Road. Her chapbook, "Female Comic Book Superheroes," is available from Pudding House Press and from her web site, www.webbish6.com.

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761