Rows of faces,
babies, children, teens.
Walking through the halls,
Going here and going there.
In the waiting rooms,
Sitting on plastic covered chairs.
Doctors, patients, families, visitors.
To appointments and scans and clinics and more.
This place full of the best help
but feelings of such helplessness
fill parents and patients.
Single tear on a fair skinned cheek.
She snuggles close to what I assume her dad.
“I don’t want a MRI”
her 4 year old voice rings out.
Fashionable teen with look of hate on her face.
Absorbed in her phone as her mother accepts being ignored.
Underneath that hate I see the worry
just as strong at the 4 year olds beside.
Tired, drained, worried faces.
I wonder what they are here for.
I wounded how many times they have been here.
How many hour of waiting do we all have in common?
How many hours of sleepless nights as we wonder what the future will hold?
Names are called and faces move,
Only to be replaced by other faces.
Faces that look familiar and new faces never met.
There is no discrimination on age or race or status.
Stat call sounds through the building.
Paging Nero, cardiology, the list goes on.
The young children oblivious to what this means.
I close my eyes to hold the tears filled with pain for another family right now.
Shuffled to another room,
a smaller room to wait some more.
Fill out checklist I can now recite by heart.
Take another weight, measurement, vitals.
Shuffled back to room to wait some more.
Our name is called
2 hours past our appointment time.
I wake my child sleeping on my lap
only to put him on a table to be put back to sleep.
Look of panic in his eyes.
He calls out “Mommy help”.
Mask on face and soothing words,
comfort and security is all that I can give.
Arms go limp,
kiss on forward head
I am shuffled off.
I am told I have an hour,
my stomach churns with only coffee yet today.
Like a zombie I walk on auto pilot to the cafeteria.
The familiarity of the hospital known to well.
Stand in line with thoughts a drift.
Order, Wait, Pay, Eat.
Gaze out the window from the cafeteria table.
Snow is gently falling, clean and pure and cold.
The revolving door continues to revolve
more faces enter and exit the building.
Time is up I head back down to wait some more.
Again the waiting room,
new faces, new show on the tv but it is all just the same.
“Aidens Mom” I hear called,
I head to another room.
There he is curled on the stretcher.
Eyes closed but starting to stir.
I tell him I am there, it is ok.
He stirs and whimpers trying to wake.
Fighting the drugs that push him under.
Swim up for air,
whimpering and crying,
trying to fight off the sandman.
Groggy arms into sleeve,
heavy legs into pants
I lift him to the wheelchair
shuffle out of the room.
Down the cold hall,
up the grey elevator
out the shiny revolving doors
Cool air and fluffy snowflakes all around.
The busy streets,
honk with cars and trucks and more faces.
But these face are different
these faces seem brighter and lighter.
These faces unaware of so many faces in the world.