First I am surprised that there is security,

Going through a woman’s bag ahead of me;

As if we are getting on a plane!

Just a few steps from that humiliation,

A desk clerk inputs into a computer,

Much more than your name;

Then asks me to sign it not on paper,

But with some electronic writing implement.

“What are you here for? She asks.

“A prescription refill for my inhaler”, I reply.

The first false promise is,

“A nurse will be right with you.”

I am directed to wait where the chairs are.

Just a few more steps to the uncomfortable area,

Strewn with bodies with faces etched in pain.

Wheelchairs, crutches, groans and moans.

I don’t want to touch anything,

I can almost hear the germs crying out at me.

Finding a chair away from most,

I try not to make eye contact as I take out my reading book.

Gently I place my water bottle on the table next to me;

Guarding it closely so none will touch it.

Hanging from the ceiling,

A television picture with poor quality.

Suddenly a loud thump and bump.

Some dude fell-out of his wheelchair!

The bump was his reddened bald head on the floor.

He is quickly surrounded.

“Don’t move. Stay still.” the large cop standing over him says.

One hour passes and then two going on three;

I’m getting restless and don’t know what to do.

Having been back to see the triage nurse,

Experienced the questions of intake too.

More false promises of not having to wait for long,

I decide to take action and flag-down the first nice nurse I saw.

The man who fell-out is now very chatty,

“You can waste a whole day here”, he says to me.

I am thinking he staged his episode for the attention,

It still hasn’t gotten him in the seeing the doctor direction.

I am thinking when I am again working i must get a regular doctor,

When suddenly the nice nurse reappears to bring me in;

“We’re gonna get you outta here, ‘Man!” says the Doc,

Moments later I am with prescription and again free!