Night in the Waiting Room

by Elaine Gingrich
“And the evening and the morning were the first day.”

How will I know when you are free?
Already I have seen your smiling face
Sparkling in the sunlight through the trees,
And heard your reassuring chuckle
Carried on the breeze.

But how long this weight of waiting,
This heaviness of hurt,
This dreadful duel on death’s doorstep,
Till all our doubts and dreams
Lie buried in a heap of dirt?

Yesterday a butterfly flew free—
Struggle ceased, fluttering brand-new—
I wished it could be you.
Today the waves swam strong their way to shore.
Oh, if you must go,
For you to ride the waves Home safely too.

But look—new morning comes with sudden stupendous lily,
Pure white with blood red spots—love’s token—
Opening like Sarah’s long-awaited laughter on the air.
The earth is the Lord’s, though hearts are broken.
After all our cries and fears,
The King of Glory has visited
And done as He had spoken.
Now your laughter blooms
A pure white lily in His courts,
And your body rests in hope
While we water the waiting garden with our tears.


Among the rocks, lakes and trees of Ontario, Elaine writes poetry as her medium of discovery, often a journey to the unexpected. With words she wrestles, puzzles, exults and prays.

2 thoughts on “Elaine Gingrich: Night in the Waiting Room”

  1. Oh, dear friend, this is such a poignant poem. Thank you for sharing it with us. It took me right back to my mom’s bedside where we kept vigil as she was winging her way home, and of course, brought a few tears in the remembering…

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