Women in a Waiting Room, 1998

by on February 23, 2023 :: 0 comments

I envision tiny brooms
to sweep away my stress.
Try to forget the hollow needle
that sucked tissue from my breast.

The surgeon called us here,
ten women seated in a row.
Only one of us has cancer.
He’ll call us in by name.

I hear the women’s voices,
through a criminally thin door.
Hallelujah, praise the Lord!
One by one they hurry past,

intent upon their shoes,
or what’s inside their pocketbooks
until just two of us remain.
I learn my fate.

Receive it without comment,
not inclined to celebrate
that the curse that passed me by
goes to the woman left.

She peers at my face for news.
I’m in a drama that I hate.
“I’m sorry,” I convey
without saying a word.

Can’t stop the sudden panic
that rises in her face.
Can’t check the selfishness
I feel shouldering my bag.
I leave her to the doctor
who waits behind his desk.

editors note:

Relief with remorse, there are none deserving either way. – mh clay

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