Waiting for Firemen (Mary McGowan)

I wait.

Like a perpetual motion toy

Which clacks and cracks

Switching back and forth

Yet goes nowhere

I wait

In this Waiting Room.

The burning in my chest cooks

To well-done,

The fire in my arm spreads, blazing

Through my fingertips.  I hold my hand up

As a flare-chandelier.

I am illuminated for

Staff to see

As I puke


On floor and watch it spread

Out in pools of helplessness before

Iron clad rules of first come/first served.

I’m screaming “Heart attack!”

But no one hears the garbling over

Roar of flames and storm of ash as

Fire consumes my pleading body.

A janitor arrives to renew

The sanctity of sullied floor.

He looks at me and frowns.  He turns

To the receiving trolls guarding

Their bridge, coffee cups in hands.

This guy is having a heart attack.”

The cannon ball weight of his words sink

Quickly to the floor of the ER.

The staff become as firemen

At last.

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