Waiting in Seven Parts



It is all right waiting when you have a cup of coffee and old blues music. I do not like waiting when there is no music or coffee, only the walls of the hospital.



A slow clock. A stain on the carpet. Magazines with ears like dogs. Scuffs on the walls. A slow clock, waiting, radio.



I sit in the chair, undecided. Swim or toast? Walk or stay? My indecision becomes a decision. I stay sitting in the chair, listening to the chattering sparrows, waiting for nothing.



I watch the ten past two clock. Click, click. Four small elephants stare out at me from a green table. Three heads in flower pots gaze out of the window at the shoddy May clouds. It’s supposed to be spring but it feels like winter. I wait for warm days.



There is a seagull in the waiting room. I don’t believe it’s waiting for a train but for the scraps of chips lying here. Perhaps I am wrong and it will catch the 17.14 to Brighton, along with the baby and the woman with wings for eyes.



There is getting up to be done and the making of porridge and after, a clearing of plates but I continue to sit and stare at the flowers on the counterpane and only my breath moves.



I am waiting for the world to startle and turn in quite a different direction. Nothing is gained by waiting, you used to say. I am not so sure. Patience is a virtue, is it not? But oh, how fast this world spins.





The home of writer Bronwen Griffiths