Ropes and stanchions keep the lines in order
as if the people are going out on a Friday night
to see the latest blockbuster at the Regal Cinema.
Women at the front desk sit in their little windows
like the workers at Motor Vehicles, only they smile,
speak in quiet, calm voices to ask if you need help.
Dozens of people fill the expertly arranged chairs
like an airport terminal but no one has baggage.
They wait patiently to hear their names called by
sweet voiced young women in pastel scrubs who
remind me of the hostesses down at Olive Garden.
In the back, the machines await, its 21st Century
medicine at its best- sonograms and mammograms,
CAT scans, MRIs, your basic x-rays machines too.
By this time next week, the waiting room people
will know if it’s a boy or a girl, if a lump is dangerous,
why they have frequent headaches and blurred vision,
what kind of operation will their knee require next,
or how bad is the blockage in the coronary arteries.
For now, all they know is that they must wait for
their names to be called, wait and fill out the forms,
wait for the technicians, wait some more, and worry.