In the Waiting Room

by Geoff Smith
(Carlisle, UK)

In the waiting room

A wordless silence of patients queuing
Punctuated only by the rustling
Of months’ old Good Housekeeping mags
A hacking cough nags and nags
That’s enough cover your mouth
The mother orders
But the coughing echoes
Off the stenciled borders

Bounces off the hard wood floor
Whilst through the opening door
The traffic murmurs through the rain
Mimics the child’s complaints of pain
The Doctor will see you now

Patients arrive with symptoms
Leave with prescriptions
They will have to wait for cures
Take the medicine as prescribed
twice a day in faith, with meals
Patience is required if you are to feel
Better than you do now

It's winter wear your vest
After all like your mother
Doctor knows best
His remedies are more effective
Than vapour rub or Phensic
Used to be, the health service
Has moved with the times

Now the posters advise
Treatments for chlamydia
With free condoms in the loos
It's so much easier to choose
And practice safer sex
The treatment is tougher
Than explaining STD to your ex

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