A new poem by Wellington poet Tim Grgec.
The Waiting Room
A receptionist with their name tag upside down
can’t seem to find my file at the front desk,
which is odd, given how long
the diagnosis had drawn out.
So here I am, in the waiting room with everyone else
who’s shown up unexpectedly.
Someone will be here soon, we’re told, to process the growing line:
first the teenagers bloodied from a car crash,
then the man holding up his beating heart,
convinced it’ll never stop.
After that there’s a poor woman who’s been struck
by lightning, whose clumps of charred hair
are falling out all over the linoleum.
‘Can’t believe it,’ she says. ‘One minute I’m outside in the rain
seeing to the horses and next thing you know
I’m here with you lot.’
‘What are the chances?’ she says, over and over again.
There aren’t any magazines for us to flick through,
just the hum of the radio
and a bowl of complimentary teeth.
What happens next
is anyone’s guess.
The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed.