Everyone’s head stays down
studying the rudely stained carpet
(the Prozac tremors knocking the coffee from our cups)
afraid to look up and be assessed
except for the psychiatrists
who exit their paneled (padded?) offices
and glad hand new arrivals like Walmart greeters
then whisk them away.
They will sternly look you over
to see if you belong to them
or just to make you nervous.
The lady with the appointment before me
for the past four years
looks far beyond to some distant focal point
while I make my way to the vacant chair
where I sit uncomfortably
in someone else’s warmth.
Gary Bloom grew up in Minneapolis and attended what is now Minnesota State University- Mankato, where he studied sociology and computer science.
He has worked as a teacher assistant in a psychiatric hospital, as a driving instructor for the disabled, and as a computer programmer and database administrator.
His articles, photography, and poetry have been widely published in newspapers, magazines and websites, including Grit, Pif, Milwaukee Magazine, Colllier’s,
The Buffalo News, The Grand Rapids Press, Oasis, Mankato Poetry Review, Kaleidoscope, and Black Diaspora.
Many of his poems are about depression, which he has battled most of his life.
He is retired and lives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.