A Favorite Poem

This isn’t my favorite poem, or even my favorite Lawrence Ferlinghetti poem, but Coney Island of the Mind was the first book of poetry I ever received as a gift (from Dave Reamer, in high school). This is an excerpt from I Am Waiting, and it seems prescient.

I am waiting for my number to be called
and I am waiting
for the living end
and I am waiting
for dad to come home
his pockets full of irradiated silver dollars
and I am waiting happily
for things to get much worse
before they improve
and I am waiting
for the human crowd
to wander off a cliff somewhere
clutching its atomic umbrella
and I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth
without taxes
and I am waiting
for forests and animals
to reclaim the earth as theirs
and I am waiting
for a way to be devised
to destroy all nationalisms
without killing anybody
and I am waiting
for linnets and planets to fall like rain
and I am waiting for lovers and weepers
to lie down together again
in a new rebirth of wonder

Copyright 1958 Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “I Am Waiting,” Coney Island of the Mind

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