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Poetry #436
(published May 28, 2009)
Waiting Room
by Rodrigo V. Dela Peña, Jr.
Yes, the doctor's in
and he'll be with you shortly
in a few moments—

no, make that an hour
or two, as it's a busy
day filled with patients

impatiently waiting
for their turn to be given
a diagnosis

and prescription. In
the meantime, flip through a stack
of Time magazines

almost a decade
old, or browse through a sheaf of new

brochures, if in case
you need to cure your boredom.
Avoid sitting next

to someone wheezing,
coughing, or appears to be
contagious: this room

poses a hazard
to your health. Look up the wall
clock ticking its round

of minutes, each now
lost here in the interim.
Pray if you have to.

Instead of a short,
simple medical visit,
you'll have to contend

with being in this
limbo, a drab reminder
of how the body

fails unfailingly
and must survive the tedium
of waiting, all for

the bitter taste of
pills, side effects, the prospect
of yet another visit.

Rodrigo V. Dela Peña, Jr. is a poet in the Philippines. His poem "Letras y Figuras" won first prize in the 2009 Meritage Press Holiday Poetry Contest.

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