Waiting Room This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I sit on hard plastic,
my ears prodding me with iron popsicles,
freezing my joints and effectively paralyzing me.
What if I lose my arm?
What if it all goes horribly wrong?
What if
What if
What if

A hand grips my shoulder and my eyes meet warm blankets of encouragement
as my mom reassures me with promises of ice cream and candy,
my reward for being good.
It works as well and predictably as a dog offered a bone.
And I remain silent as sugar preparing to be scattered into a cup of steaming tea.

My legs give an uncomfortable shutter as the nurse creeps out from the dungeon.
“Next.”
One word that shatters my insides as forcefully as a hammer on glass.
I take a deep breath and slip past the imposing figure and into the icy, sanitized cave.
Choking on the scent of pristine coats and fear, I await my appointment.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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