Tenterhooks To learn the dreaded outcome of his fate, While in a waiting room, John will await A summons through an ordinary door That separates him from a corridor. Along this corridor, as if for miles, Are offices, with confidential files, And in these files doctors tucked away The many reasons John is here today. But thinking of his own impending doom John doesn’t think about a waiting room, Instead, he thinks of temples lit with tapers, High priestesses, and cauldrons spewing vapors, And in these ceremonies John will see Whatever was, and what will come to be. John’s fantasy will dissipate for him When somebody comes out the door, not in. Still waiting, John envies this person leaving, About this person there is no believing He was beyond that door. With utmost calm This person pumps Purell unto to his palm The same as anybody on their way, But just before, to John, he seems okay, He takes an extra squirt of the Purell And spikes his hair like he is using gel.
Robert Donohue’s poetry has appeared in Amethyst Review, Freeze Ray Poetry, and The Font, among others. He lives on Long Island, NY.