In The Waiting Room

Every time the nurse calls a name, his mother,
with great difficulty, gets up,
“Hurry,” she says in a shaky voice,
“Or we’ll miss our turn.” He looks up from his book.
“It’s not you, sit down mom,” he says flatly,
and then repeats it yelling.
She is hard of hearing.

He is a son with white hair and the need of a cane.
She gets up. He yells. She gets up. He yells.
This goes on for an hour. His patience
is older than their combined ages, and there is deep love.
“It’s not you, sit down mom,” he yells.

When they finally do call her name,
she is asleep. She looks as if she died waiting.
He ever so gently wakes her up and guides her
towards the inevitable, the inevitable for everyone.
“Is it time for lunch?” She asks.
“Soon.” He answers.

All the way down the hallway to the
examination room, she jabbers about food,
what she wants for lunch.
Lucky for her, she still has an appetite.

He is not afraid of death,
still he worries that he will die first.

~ Jo-Ann Godfrey

Jo-Ann Godfrey is a Canadian citizen but she was born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark, and educated at the University of Alberta. Her poetry has been published in
TickleAce, Pottersfield Portfolio, Zygote, The Amethyst Review and others. She has been part of the Stroll of Poets Society since 1994, served on the board as vice-president and as a sales representative for the anthology. Presently she is trying to find a home for her poetry collection entitled, “From Beyond The Mood Wheel.”

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