There’s a ticket in my Flannery O’Connor collection
when called it’s your turn for service
It’s old and withered but may still work
I hold it and wait to hear if someone will call out
Impatient and afraid to handle it too long
I become consumed with the crumble
The 60 years it survived between the pages
will be undone in minutes by my nervous fingers
I can’t help but fondle its rough surface
and feel the deep grooves of time past
I’m a zealot for its apocryphal power
A hold out against a changing world
If the ticket-holder gave up and walked away
Never getting what they wanted and waited for
Do I have to have faith? Can’t I skip the queue?
I’m starting to destroy it as I hold it in my hands
As my ears strain to hear if I’ll be selected
I do nothing and hear nothing and say nothing
No change yet to come from this new contact
No magic as affecting as the words on the page
The word from which I pulled this false hope
The collected wisdom of one woman waiting
Yet I keep coming back to the ticket
The object I can feel but its power I can’t hear
The words I only see yet their power I can feel
I wait for the call but the words I take for