Waiting Room Rant by AJ Huffman

Yes, you may change the channel
on the community television. (Thank you
so much for not asking).  But it is not okay
for you to turn the volume to ear-bleeding decibels
in hopes of distracting from your daughter
using the chair between us as a trampoline
and screaming her abc’s as loud as her 6-year-old lungs
will let her.  I get it, you’re sick,
exhausted, and wishing (probably not for the first time)
you were not a single mother or maybe just not
a mother (the single part being incidental to you), longing
for the days when you could just die in bed in peace.
We second that dream, by the way, as you engross
yourself in the latest talk show bimbo’s babble
about who’s banging who in Hollywood this week
instead of reprimanding your child who has
now decided to graduate her self-
made Olympic trials from trampoline to hurdles.  My legs
and those of the three other women in the room serve
as the hurdles in question.  Only to extricate
yourself long enough to make a snide comment
about your daughter falling on her face
after tripping over “someone who should take more care
where they place their legs.”  As if
we can just detach them and move them off to the side
for convenience.  You go back
to your semi-conscious state as the receptionist calls
my name, completely unaware of how close
you came to pushing the wrong person’s button.  I debate
on telling you about the ponderings posed in my head
after reading the article in the magazine I just put
down that reminded me all state prison inmates get free
healthcare.  I smile, again, at the thought
as I disappear behind a one-way locked door.


About AJ Huffman