The Waiting Room

Cross-legged on the bench orbiting the room
In patient posture, waiting to be called
With hands folded, twiddling the thumbs
Above pleated skirts and yesterday’s fashions,
Then fingering an edition of Explore Kent 
Whose apples might make her better.
There's the carry-cot cradle of a febrile child
Hacking with sniffles, but muffled and silenced
With a comforter moistened by a worried mum
With blank stares focussed on nowhere,
Mentally rehearsing what she’s going to say,
But hoping she’ll soon be better.
And the white van driver in over-used overalls
Ready for another day up the ladder
Thumbing the latest apps on his mobile
With a downloaded game that whiles away time
Knocking over obstacles of cyberspace,
Thinking he could do better.
The pink pages of the Financial Times
Come with the banker from his counting house
Bringing an ailing economy with him,
Getting blamed for all that’s wrong with the world
While we eat wholemeal bread and honey
Believing that’ll make it better.
Until the buzzer sounds and a name appears
Digitalised before the crowded room,
So it’s my turn to knock on the door
Though you know that a walk in Jubilee Park
Or round the block might be just as good
And even make you better.

May 2013 

In a South London doctor's waiting room.