Waiting for Immediate Care





  Thin white walls 

surround me

I hear 



Illness fills the frigid air.

I wait–




A door closes, 

will mine open next? 

Room 10 at the end of the hall–

Pick me. Pick me.

Have I been forgotten?
Gloves of blue and beige–

Can I make balloons 

out of them

while I wait? 

I can’t.

I don’t have the energy.

Paper crinkles beneath me.

Annoying noises of waiting.

There is no way to get 

cozy here in this 

stark frigid room 

of sickness and waiting.

A set of papers graded–

maybe I should come here 

to grade my papers more often. 

A grading copay. 

The distractions are minimal 

other than the coughing

 and talking 

and voices 

on the other side.

Why is this place called 

immediate care? 

Why am I waiting for

Immediate care?

I am never cared 

for immediately.

The nurse steps in 

a swab violates 

my throat. 

He is gone.

I still wait.

Is it strep again? 

Still no doctor. 

It’s getting late.

Doctor enters.

Deep breath.


Ear check.

Waiting still.

Not streppy

But a prescription 

For me

A teacher surrounded by

And inclined to

The beast of strep,

Lurking bacteria 

Invading my home

My school

My son’s school

Daughter’s school 

Husband’s school

My strep-filled life

Of waiting

For immediate care.


2 thoughts on “Waiting for Immediate Care

  1. I was just in a dr. office today – and this is so much of what I was thinking and feeling too. Such an effective use of line breaks too – Awesome job!
    And really, so true — waiting for immediate care. So much waiting! I hope you feel better soon!


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