WAITING

Emergency rooms have the same smell

They are sterile with a hint of dew in the narrow corridors

In some pockets, there is a robust musk from the decaying souls

Each scent colonized by pestilence


Here, we are connected with an intimate friend

Subtly

Fully

Slithering into the cracks of faux leather chairs

And foul toilet seats

The festering microbes villainous, and without refrain


Waiting rooms are spaces where

The spectrum of visibility is uncertain

except by the harsh LEDs

or the florescent lights

that radiate into the depths of our iris

Forcing some people to stay alert


This is the place that we wait for our beloved

Interrupted from our late-night shifts

From our football game

From the shenanigans at the neighborhood bar

We are flooded by distractions until

We sit through an endless bray of the latest news cycle:


War in the Middle East; will there ever be peace?

All my sons and the telenovela that never ends


This is a place occupied by

One-night stands

Fleeting friendships

Dysfunctional families

People who still have not figured out how to care

For themselves

We glare at unsettled ghosts and ghosts yet to come

Hoping that the chamber of death will not create a new trauma

Marking the past by a newfound loss


When the anonymous banter has exhausted us

And our despair has turned into grief

We know that our time is done

And there is no simple remedy



Contributed by

Edna Bonhomme

https://www.ednabonhomme.com/


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