These are not the worst of times, nor are they the best. It’s just the morning again
after another restless night.
I clean up after my babies and I clean myself up, indicating to all of us
that Mommy has to go.
There’s no choice: if we want to keep insurance,
the most independent of us has to surrender.
We stopped drawing straws years ago.
Driving through the streets of Phoenix,
trying not to cause carnage like I have seen on the news,
I finally reach my doctor’s office.
I park in the six-story structure that I know one of my students has been cleaning for years.
It’s nice to be on the inside elevator again with two mothers and six children.
I make a joke about how we could have our own kindergarten. I always make a joke.
All of us sit politely in the same waiting room.
I feel bad for Mark Wahlberg because Kelly Ripa is missing today.
Still not recovered from the Sinus Infection of 2013, I sit non-violently in my chair
for an hour. Every fluid that has ever passed through my body is still draining
from my ear down my throat.
But I’m here for something else.
I have brought my own book. I have turned my phone off. I have my own water.
All of these good things are sorely negated when the fire alarm system goes off.
The right side of my face is at war again.
Get me out of here, it says.
I give more credit to the other patients,
the mothers of the kindergarteners,
the one older lady. They just keep sitting there.
I myself have to exit, trying to keep the noise out of my head.
My ears are crying.
I think the hallways will be better,
but they aren't.