writing poetry in the waiting room

writing poetry in the waiting room

worn seats in lines 

bland taupe comfortless


to the pain and discomfort 

of others

I wait for my child’s return

alone in a quiet corner

somewhere a doctor watches 

over them

does what I cannot do

heal, find answers or 

more questions

all I can do is wait 

to see what will unfold

within the walls 

and pray 

the discharge may bring

nothing but relief

a familiar bed 

a hot meal

fresh clothes

a cup of tea

all of which I long for

sitting with the stench

of vomit 

and creeping malaise 

every emergency room

the same

those who vomit blood

sit next to the short of breath

the anxious mothers

daughters, fathers and brothers 

a nurse washes spittle 

from the window around her desk

a woman with a broken foot

and a scorpion tattoo on her neck 

swears at the wait time

a ninth ambulance rolls in

and we wait together

under the silent flashes

of the televisions 

hanging on wall

high and out of reach 

You will always

Day 30

you will always
be safe with me
to unload your heart
on a sea of tears
or to rage
in the last few hours of the day
to laugh through the veil
to question and share
moments of doubt
of fear
of uncertainty
of relief
of joy
of quiet stillness

you will always be safe
with me
because I love you
without condition
or restriction
I love you
like the sea loves the shore
like the cloud loves the sky
like the tree loves the forest
like the stone loves the river
like the bird loves the wind

You will always
be safe
with me
to just be you.




Fever crept in

Day 24


fever crept in
while I sat at my desk
the not so subtle reminder
my body will fail me
in spite of my will
to avoid
finish out the day
it is all I can do
still feeling guilty
for not being able
to work longer
I slept in the chair
when I arrived home
food a dare I could not face
I forgot to turn on
the lights before closing my eyes
the sun has set
without me knowing
plunging the room
into darkness
the fever brings unwelcome friends
the body rebels
and succumbs
I move in so few places
I know where I found it first
not that it matters
sickness is isolating
like the weather
it will pass
I will be lighter for it
in the meantime
I let go
hoping for the morning
to be gentle
and kind


Coming home

Day 23


coming home
we did not meet here
at the corner
waiting for the light
to turn
caught up in the rush
to return home
after a long work day
bumper to bumper
the bus pulls
to the curb
one empty seat
becomes home
for twenty minutes
horn blares
the driver yells
not seeing the flashing lights
in front
the hurry to beat the bus
blinded him
it’s how people die
in this city
because someone can’t see
they are sitting in the same boat
watching the struggle
to bail out the water
filling the end with the holes
I pull the cord for my stop
finish the hour
by making tea
and listening
to day stories told
to me by offspring
then at long last
I will lay in the darkness
and listen
to the night breathe