THE WAITING ROOM
Desk jockeys hover over their PCs
To enter the visits of young and old,
Hoping the sick will cover their sneeze
And not impart that nasty cold.
An elderly woman sits alone,
Waiting her turn for the nurse’s voice
To drown out the monotone
Of whisperers — awaiting their choice.
The old lady wisely tries to keep still,
Or maybe the desk girls over there
Won’t put her chart in the “fill”—
And she’ll have too much time to spare.
Oh, please call me – call me please,
She prays as her bones ache and jerk—
And her nose—well—she’s about to sneeze,
Still they’re at things they cannot shirk.
Finally, when all seems lost and gone,
The room empties out to merely her chair –
Her name is called and now it’s done,
She reaches up and smooths her hair.
–Lois Fowler Barrett © 2006