doctor's office, 2 pm

she's an origami girl, arms and legs folded
like tiny paper cranes, and she looks bored,
her salmon gum snapping back into her
raspberry mouth. she sneers and glares,

the sound of her impudence ringing shrill
in the expanse of the waiting room. doctor,
doctor, give her the news, save us all from
her daggered looks. a mother, full of life,

exits stage left, waddling to the parking lot.
eyes shift back to the folded child, hoping
sheer mindpower will rid the place of her
disorderly conduct. her foot stamps beats

along with her ipod, surely stuffed full
with the sounds of fall out boy and panic!
or perhaps something of a livelier fare,
but surely no duke ellington or b.b. king

resides in her ears today. just pretend she
doesn't exist, pretend it's all some mirage
conjured up by the reason you're here in
the first place. study months-old copies

of elle and cosmopolitan, car & driver
for the automotive-minded. count peeling
ceiling tiles, flies in the overhead neons,
the stitches in your neighbor old woman's

purple knitting. anything to convince your
head there's not a sniveling teenage girl
scowling at the room in general. close eyes,
breathe in tight, soon the doctor will arrive

to release you from this gate, and you will race,
with your head held high, for room two, shake
and shiver in relief, for you are free at last,
free at last! from the wrath of puberty sitting

so snarkily in the room, awaiting her own test
results, the reason she's there, the reason she's
angry and impatient: for a child to be burdened
with a child is no reason to smile, so she doesn't.