The doctor will see you now…

A poem for our times

Reading time: 2 min


Heads down. Hushed voices.

Coughs and sneezes.

Old magazines. Cosmopolitan,

National Geographic.

Flipping pages in the surgery.

Patients waiting patiently.


Your call is valuable to us.

Please hold.

Filling the silence – Verdi,

The Hebrew Chorus

Tenth in the queue. You’re told.

Please hold.

The doctor can speak to you now.

From behind closed doors,

head-phones for stethoscopes.

What are your symptoms?

How long? Persistent you say?

How hot? Trouble with breathing.

On our doorstep behind our gate

we applaud. Make a noise for

nurses, care workers on the front line

without security a casualty of austerity.

Warnings aplenty. Promises empty.

Intensive care becoming desperate.

A blanched hand pressed on a window.

A child on the other side with a rainbow.

By Joy Johnson @joyjohnson22

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