POEM: In the Waiting Room of the West Mountain Clinic

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By Wednesday, Jan 17 Arts & Entertainment

“We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy

that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures…”

— Stephen Jay Gould

 

In the waiting room of the clinic, men and women seldom utter a word.

They flip through old magazines and then return them to the low table.

 

In the wall aquarium the fish swim back and forth, avoiding each other.

Do they ever have a story to tell! But they never learned how to speak

 

a foreign language, only their own, which we do not understand. Yes,

they wave their tails, but to propel themselves, not to convey a message.

 

Their innate ability to avoid one another while constantly on the move

impresses. They describe patterns of peaceful coexistence, while we,

 

despite our ability to speak, to explain, become vehement, even violent,

which may lead the gazing outpatient to question the ethics of evolution.


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