Medical Visit

Another day at the hospital.
A new department.
The clerk won’t speak louder
so I can’t hear her instructions.
She’s impatient
when I ask questions.
Sheet after sheet of paper,
detailed instructions.
I don’t have the concentration
to read all of it.
I hope I haven’t signed away
still functioning body parts.
I hand the clerk the papers.
She’s pleased to show me
what I didn’t fill in,
where I didn’t sign.
She takes my drivers license,
insurance cards, copies pictures.
Tells me the waiting period
is within an hour.
I ask, I thought reasonably,
‘Why did I make an appointment
for a special time
if I have to wait that long?
She points me to the waiting area,
without a word.
Her cold eyes follow me
until I’m someone else’s responsibility.

The waiting room is crowded.
Everyone looks unhappy.
Most are apprehensive.
I do not see a friendly face.
I do not think this place will help me,
but I must try
in the hope of a little more life
before conclusion.

Gary Beck spent his life as a theater director/playwright. He has had 21 poetry books, 7 novels, 3 short story collections and 1 book of essays published. Gary’s original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off-Broadway in New York City, where he resides. Read other articles by Gary.