Waiting room

This is us, in the waiting room. The day room on the ward.
Nobody isn’t in here. Nobody isn’t everyone.
Nobody’s better than this. I might as well admit it.
I’m the lunatic, terrified of stuff that isn’t real.
I hear voices. I obey them.
See me? I’m the thief, wanting things,
taking things, finding ways to call them mine.
I’m the murderer, privately bloodied with anger.
See? I’m the adulterer, compulsively unfaithful.
I’m the pervert, entitling myself to the bodies around me.
Look. I’m the exhibitionist, just wishing to be seen.
I’m the psychopath who just can’t let the world be so.
I’m the addict, lucky enough to find an acceptable
drug—propriety, maybe, or success, or being normal.
(I’ll steal to support my habit.)
The approved suicide. The sicko, yeah, that’s me.
This is us, sitting around the waiting room,
all of us hoping for Treatment.
Out on the street we pretend,
but in here everybody knows:
you’re not evil, but yeah, you’re pretty sick.
For the grace that loves us no matter what,
and there’s a lot of what these days,
for our Therapist, we all wait—only say the word.
We line up at the little window,
hands outstretched for the meds we need,
the only holy broken heart that heals us.
And we receive.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

Shrove Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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