Waiting for Connection – At the Wrong End of the Phone


Many years of many lives are spent waiting for phone connection to the doctor’s receptionist to get an answer to a simple question, like ‘when do I go for the blood test?’ 

Before reaching a human voice, a number of things must be navigated – including the music from hell and a voice that says “You are number eight in the queue…please hold.” Here’s my poem charting the slow journey to be made before connection.

Request for Connection… To the Quack’s Reception

For ten minutes I wait
I’m number eight
There is a queue
I’m told
‘Please hold’

The music’s sad and bad
I’m told
‘Please hold’

Time passes
I’m number seven
I’m getting older
Like indigestion
The music repeats
I’m told
‘Please hold’

As I become six
I realise
I’m a number
Not a person
I had 10 symptoms before
Now I have 15
I’m told
‘Please hold’

What’s happening in the world?
Two wars have been declared 
Night-time falls in Shanghai
The music is merciless
I’m told
‘Please hold’

Five miles away
Somebody scores five goals
500 babies are born
A new symphony is composed
Guess what?
I’m told
‘Please hold’

Are others in the queue in pain?
Who came before me?
Abraham? Isaac? Minnehaha?
Grandma Moses?

Soon my prayers will be answered
I’m number four
All will be well
Though the music is hell
Yes, and you guessed
I’m told
‘Please hold’

I’m number three
A voice somewhere says
‘Please hold’

Time crawls!
The music appals
I’m told
‘Please hold’

I’m through
A one-minute chat
It’s a lucky day
For the one after me

Told me to say
‘Hip! Hip! Hooray’
But I do
‘Thank you!’ 

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