Waiting Room

10.25 am. The lemon walls sweat in the morning light.
The world is either smiling or it’s the heat and glow of strain.
Why is the literature in these places always so old?
Subtly making the waiting take longer, and longer.

We all have it; old, recurring,
new, righteous, deserved. It bleeds into everyone,
some form of pain. We learn to live with it,
beside it, inside it, around it.
Each one of us carrying crosses and gluing more
to them or chiselling away, depending entirely on each day.

We learn to unload and unpack our pain, as if when it’s
collated it’ll be lighter. Or we attempt to file it away
so that it may die before us and not with us.
Some wrongly label it demon, but unlike a demon
knowing its name does nothing to deter it.
It merely informs you of its presence.

Holding it, married to it, not an ill comparison; love
is a pain peppered with pleasantries. Foolishly, I once
thought that it was given to individuals in a fair share,
only given what we can tolerate. God, recording
each fallen robin, realised in us when we count a bird’s
feathers and measure the thickness of a tortoise shell.
I realised my error when I faced more than I could tolerate.

When winter comes again, for the final time,
we lay our burdens down and undress them.
Peeling off layers of shame and exhaustion
exposing our pain.
So that we may die with it, and it with us.
Silent and still. With comfort and ease.
For the first time and the last.


M.J.Mellor is a writer and poet who lives in London. His upbringing in Mid-Wales and experiences with his mental health influence much of his work, as does his quest to feed and fill an open mind. He writes to understand the human condition and to make sense of his own. He is currently working on his first collection of poetry and his first novel.