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Pantoum: The Waiting RoomJohn Tranter
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Vol. 15 No. 22 · 18 November 1993
Poem

Pantoum: The Waiting Room

John Tranter

218 words

The movement slows: everything grows dark.
A man checks the knot in his tie. It’s twilight
and a fine rain smears the windows.
Will you miss your train, and the delightful party?

A man checks the knot in his tie. It’s twilight;
superhuman powers will never be yours.
You will miss your train, and the delightful party.
They argue about civil rights. At the check-out

superhuman powers will never be yours.
Reading the college diploma, looking for mistakes,
they argue about civil rights, at the check-out,
and some new psychiatric theory.

Reading the college diploma, looking for mistakes,
the shadows who dream of obscurity
and some new psychiatric theory
fade away. Why don’t you look at that:

the shadows who dream of obscurity?
Well, there’s always a first time for a thief.
Fade away, why don’t you? Look at that,
a stumble, and the valuable vase gets broken –

well, there’s always a first time for a thief.
Look, here comes the rich old fool. He smiles –
a stumble, and the valuable vase gets broken.
Far away in Chicago, the stock market rallies.

Look, here comes the rich old fool. He smiles,
and a fine rain smears the windows.
Far away in Chicago, the stock market rallies.
The movement slows: everything grows dark.

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