I’m easily undone, so it shouldn’t
be a surprise that this poem – The
Gate – by Marie Howe undid me
These lines especially…
“This is what you have been waiting
for, he used to say to me.
And I’d say, What?
And he’d say, This – “
It speaks to me about the power
of the present moment and how I
miss so much by rushing through
life and allowing myself to be distracted
by so many things.
In context, it’s a poem about her
brother who painfully died of AIDS
back in the 80’s.
Here’s the entire poem…
I had no idea that the gate I would step throughto finally enter this worldwould be the space my brother’s body made. He wasa little taller than me: a young manbut grown, himself by then,done at twenty-eight, having folded every sheet,rinsed every glass he would ever rinse under the coldand running water.This is what you have been waiting for, he used to say to me.And I’d say, What?And he’d say, This—holding up my cheese and mustard sandwich.And I’d say, What?And he’d say, This, sort of looking around.
Source – On Being