A free verse poem about waiting.
|We all sit and wait.
We wait in a room designed for waiting.
We wait for our names to be called.
Some wait nervously, fidgeting
and checking their watches.
Some wait patiently, reading old magazines.
Some even doze off to sleep.
But we all wait.
We sit on chairs not quite comfortable enough,
chairs too close together so that our space
feels violated when someone sits down besides us.
We rarely speak to each other, filling the room
with mostly silence.
We seldom make eye contact with those
around us, preferring to remain anonymous.
We are a unique group assembled here.
We are both the young and the old,
both males and females,
the rich and the poor.
Here we are all equal…waiters.
Worry, fear, and dread sit on many faces,
for here we all need luck and mercy.
We sit here strangers all,
gathered together at this place
for this one moment in time,
sharing an experience never
to be shared again together.
We wait to give of our blood, our urine,
or to have our insides revealed.
We hope for good answers,
but for some it will be bad news.
For some, it will be routine.
For others, it will alter their life.
For the unfortunate, it will be a death sentence.
As an elderly lady turtles out with her cane,
a teenage boy takes her seat to begin his wait.
The old still outnumber the young.
The boy is wearing sweat pants and T-shirt.
Some wear business suits, some casual attire.
Dress here is of no help, of no importance,
For this room is a great equalizer.
We all wait to have the medical technologist
call our name to have our lab work done.
First arrived, first called…and finally
I am at the front of the queue, hearing
my name called to come give three tubes
of blood so that I can complete my visit
at the doctor’s office this morning.
My wait is finally over.
[Note: This free-verse poem won "High Distinction" ( and the prize of $200) in the 2008 Tom Howard Poetry Contest.]
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