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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