This is the place where families cross their legs
And stare, sightless, at unobtrusive art.
This is the place where every minute drags
Like a dead body heaved onto a cart.
A mother clasps her hands, as if in prayer,
Then bows her head and curses quietly.
A husband thinks that if he’d just seen more
His wife would not have needed surgery.
Death breathes upon these souls who wait in need
Of angels wearing scrubs to proffer grace.
All wait alone, and none are reassured
By memories of a loved one’s pleading face.
In purgatory they await the words
Of gods who fail as often as succeed.
by Jeff Holt