“Words, I think, are oftenest weak.” by Julia on the subway going west


Saturday, January 19, 2013
6:40pm
5 minutes
the poem The Confession
Horatio Alger


There’s a chill in the air, it’s getting cold. Weather is changing. It’s getting cold.
A hundred people were standing in a line that wrapped around the street corner. They were waiting to see The Great John Abbey. Famous, perhaps, for something big. We don’t know. We just know we love him. He was visiting the local library on 5th. He was said to be coming at noon on a Tuesday. He didn’t show up, and the people, bundled in their winter bests, just waited there. I walked by a couple times, had to buy bread, and then go back out again for milk. I noticed the first time, the people were all in great spirits. On my way back home some of the children who had been standing were now being held by their parents or older siblings. The second time out some of them were huddled closer together, presumably to stay as warm as possible, and on my way back home, they were all swaying in time to a music-less song. Just swaying, back and forth. Swaying a dance that looked choreographed. They didn’t speak. They just waited there in each others’ silence. It was odd. It was calming and odd.
I was more shocked at that than I was at the fact that they were standing there long after noon with a hope so big, just to see a man who would never come.