Waiting Room

I can’t go in.

The smell of medicine that isn’t working,

Desperately masked by overwhelming sanitizer that stings my nose as I inhale.

No sunlight makes its way through the windows.

It fails to even reach through the clouds.


I haven’t seen blue skies in months.

I’m cold, clammy from the perpetual rain conspiring with a nervous sweat.


This room is too big.

Too big and only four people sitting around the same coffee table.

There are four people, but no one makes eye contact --

They try to hide a fear they never expected.


I stare ahead at the doors.

The doors I simultaneously crave and dread opening,

Is ignorance torture of bliss?


Why am I out here? 

Why aren’t I in her room? 

I know she’s in pain, why can’t anyone help her?

Is she dying?

What if she’s dying?

What if she’s dying all alone?

What if she’s dying surrounded by strangers with medical degrees?

What if she’d prefer that I’m not there?

What if I exhaust her, bother her, multiply her suffering?

What if she doesn’t recognise me when I go in?

What if her hearts beating and her eyes are blinking, but she’s not there?


What if I never get to see my mom again?


To smell her perfume,

Hear her voice, her laugh,

Touch her skin.

Feel her soft hand holding mine,

Feel her arms around me as she holds me close 

Keeping out any monsters that could poison my mind.


Those monsters don’t scare me anymore.

My fear comes from sitting in an empty house that’s no longer a home.

My fear is knowing without you, I’ll never be at home.

My fear is the thought that you died resenting your daughter

Who never took the chance to say goodbye.

My fear is that on those days where the sky is gray, my eyes are tired, my ears don’t want any more music, food tastes like sawdust, I can’t get up from my bed, and my heart feels gray, that I won’t bounce back, my soul will be consumed by the emptiness caused by your absence.

My fear is every morning waking up. The feeling that you’re gone, and there’s nothing I can do to ever see you again.


This poem is about: 
My family


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