Poetry Thursday: Waiting Wright


I got an email from a friend
addressed to me,
“Colleen Waitwright.”

Which is wrong,
which has been another of my many, many nicknames
along with
and C-Dubs
and C-Monster
and one I hate
which I’m not going to tell you
right now

I stared at the typo in my name
and added another in my head:


Wait. Right.

Something I don’t do
or haven’t tried
except in fits and starts
and more of the former
than the latter

We all of us must needs wait
some for the change of an hour
some for the change of a circumstance
some for the end of a sentence

Harder than you think
when you’re itching to say something
while someone else
is already doing so

The same morning
I got an email from another friend
about waiting

Until the time is right
Until the means meets up with desire
Until you have caught up with yourself

I am afraid
I will never catch up with myself

I am afraid
there’s a party going on at all times
that I am missing
if I hold
if I nap
if I rest
if I wait

So I make myself go
when I might do better
to make myself wait

From now on
I will make myself wait
until the time is right

After all
my name,
the Wright part,
is about making things

Maker of Mills
Maker of Carts
Maker of Wagons

if you are my family,
Maker of Goyishe Surnames

I can make of myself
what I like
and I’ve come to a place
of liking waiting
and the idea of doing it right:
the right thing
in the right time

Like this:

I have waited
to the end of these words
to tell you
what I don’t like being called

Which is “Coll.”

and wait
before you use it.


Image by makelessnoise via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. I want to write something all deep and meaningful, but all I can think of is, “DAMN! I wish I’d known that you hated that nickname!” I mean, *way* back when I searched long and hard for something that would repay you for pointing to the side of a truck and (not missing a beat) proclaiming to the entire carload of people that the “e.w.” stood for “Elizabeth Weighs…8000 pounds.” Ugh. This is the price I’ve paid for being born after the Quickest Wit in the (Mid)West….

  2. Another AMAZING poem by you. The way you ended it is just awesome. It’s so interesting when people mess up our names, isn’t it? I’ve always taken serious offense to it when it usually is just a small mistake. But names are important and I take what others call me very seriously. Really, truly, you are a wonderful poet. LOVE this.

  3. Life, I’m learning, is so much better when we can cull the wisdom (NOT “Coll”…definitely, from this point forward, never, ever “Coll”) out of the mistakes. Beyond that, I love your writing, with its ever-expanding sense of playfulness and delight. But the dark stuff grabs me, too.

  4. But of course

    there’s a party going on at all times
    that I am missing

    can you imagine going to all of the parties? A terrible fate!

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