Hospital Waiting Room

Another man sits alone in one of the chairs
kitty-corner from me. He, too, has brought
his own book to mask the anxiety of the wait.

Somewhere removed, in a room we can not see,
doctors and nurses exchange hospital gossip
as they perform their scopies on our wives.

On TV Japanese forces are counting down
seconds before decimating America’s navy
on December 7, 1941. Bombs are about to fall.

I am reading a collection of short stories –
the spiritt of an early Mayan potter interweaves
with a visiting woman from Saskatchewan.

A few chairs away a young Cree woman awaits
her Nokum’s return from wherever the nurse
has taken her, the twosome on first name basis.

On TV the actors are checking watches or clocks.
In the waiting room time trudges. Locked
into our own printed scenarios, we wait.

Bombs fall on Pearl Harbour, the booms
of “Tora Tora Tora” fill the waiting room
and reverberate into the hospital corridor.

Nokum’s grand-daughter, the other husband
and I read on, disconnected from Hollywood,
safe in worlds where no bombs fall on us.

The clock-watching on TV is over.
But here in the waiting room, the minutes drag.
Wrapped in our diversions, we wait.

~ Glen Sorestad

Glen Sorestad is a well known Saskatoon poet who has published widely all over North America and elsewhere. Over 20 volumes of his poems have been published, most recently Road Apples(Rubicon Press, 2009) and What We Miss(Thistledown, 2010). His poems have appeared in over 50 anthologies and textbooks, as well as having been translated into a half-dozen languages. Most recently, in March of this year, he performed his poetry with the Dennis Borycki Trio in Oklahoma.

Read more of Glen Sorestad’s poetry:
Lost and Found
Woman in Doorway
Water Voices

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