Waiting Room

by Michael Morris

I’m waiting for my wife

who is getting lab work done

putting blood and urine in tiny

sterile containers, chatting with

the affable nurse, and the warmly stern

doctor who will give her news,

prescriptions and instructions I will

hear about as we drive home.


Two old women talk about directions,

how to get to a place one feels

should be simple to trace

after years of living, years

of working in and for places.

A few chairs to the right

a man with a shiny bald head

clean glasses and new tennis shoes

sits behind his walking frame. A woman

with a red dot on her forehead and

another smaller one between

her eyebrows, comes out of a door

I didn’t realize was there

and sits next to the waiting

walker, speaks to him in Farsi

then is silent like a grandmother

looking for visitors she does not expect.


Others sit quietly

reading magazines until they

realize how uncomfortable they are.

Some read over forms

they were told to give to the nurse

when called. They scan through

boxes checked with their ailments.

Then they look over the other problems

they could have been charged for.


One man sits near a bare table

in the corner. He’s combed his

thinning hair carefully into

a sort of wave, and he rubs

the skin under his eyes

as if holding in a headache. His

foot jiggles in a nervous tic

several times before he opens

his cell, pushes a button,

and leaves a message filled

with instructions for someone

who has yet to make it to the office.

Then he stares at the carpet

like he’s deciphering a map.

Michael Neal Morris has published short stories, poems, and essays in a number of print and online venues. He most recent books are naked and Recital Notes, Volume I. Collections of his work are listed at Smashwords and Amazon. He lives with his family just outside the Dallas area, and teaches at Eastfield College.

Monk Notes: http://mnmwrite.blogspot.com/

Walking It Off: http://mnmwalking.blogspot.com/

This Blue Monk: http://bluemonkwrites.tumblr.com/


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