We’re going. It’s 12 o’clock.
“Wait here until we come to get you. Here on this chair.”
The lone chair is in a long hallway in front of double doors that people walk in and out of; doctors and nurses and who knows who. I can only distinguish the maintenance people, with their bright yellow warning triangles, mopping the floor with deliberate figure eights, the tiles a symphony.
Saint Gerard is in my pocket.
He’s been there for days, the patron saint of expectant mothers, and today, expectant fathers.
You can do that. He doesn’t mind.
I hold my hand over my pocket, on top of the scrubs that cover me head to toe, and say a prayer. Somebody emerges from the double doors. Not for me.
I’m still waiting.
Three days ago I was waiting, but not like this.
The birth of my daughters was imminent, but not like this.
The safety of my wife not in question. The health of my daughters not in question.
None of it, in question.
So now I sit, on a chair, outside double doors that lead to a room where my wife and my daughters, my family, wait until they are ready.
For the doctors to be ready.
For everyone to be ready.
But not for me to be ready.
I’m ready when they’re ready.
(Written as part of a class taught by Maria Browning at The Porch Writer’s Collective on what poetry can teach prose.)