The Waiting Room

the waiting room wall
is papered over in
tersely worded prohibitions

in a back room somewhere the humming
and shucking of a laserjet printer
as it spews out even more of them

NO CHECKS
NO COUNTER-CLOCKWISE CIRCULATION
NO THEORIZING

there is plenty to not do
here while I wait and more than enough
people to make a team effort of it

what’s a mother not to do? I ask
a woman with an infant on her knee
sh, she says, no talking

I turn in my seat and realize there are
more signs behind me that I had not seen
assembled beneath a bumper crop of pushpins

NO HAVOC
NO CLOUD FORMATIONS
NO SILICONE VALLEYS

I set myself the task of doing nothing at all
brilliantly creating a kind of legal blanket
covering every possible prohibition

it is a nice idea, but
this is easier said than not done
because my mind stays busy even at idle

I hope they call my name soon, I think
and then I see the sign posted behind the hat
of the tall man seated across from me

NO NAME CALLING

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3 thoughts on “The Waiting Room

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