Joan McBride, Waiting Room

I am waiting for my sister

She is somewhere down a corridor

Behind a closed door


I am holding her coat that

reeks of cigarettes, pizza

and bus fumes


I imagine she is telling the doctor

about her headaches that

have found a home above her ear


She won’t mention weeping

over a soot covered grave stone

or how TV glare has

grayed her eyes and given her

the pallor of a ghost


Instead she’ll shrug her shoulders

and leave with another refill of the

prescription that helps her sleep


For long stretches

Into the next day

Past all alarms


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