Friday, July 21, 2017
The Magazines Are Gone
by Jim Rapp
Things are changing in the waiting room;
each room has a TV tuned so low
that only the least impaired ear can tune
the voices in from the Today Show.
Chairs are arranged in a clever way
so no one has direct view of the screen;
all necks must crane to see, or turn away
to view a show on a hand-held machine.
No one seems to miss the ubiquitous mags
that used to clutter every table top,
donated, I was told – brought in by the bags –
to be rifled, read in snippets and dropped
when the nurse called the holder's name.
I surmised they had been superseded
by smart phones but, alas, a more sane
reason's given – germs, unseen, unheeded.
It scares me half-to-death to think
of all the germs I've absorbed, breathed,
ingested, with the printers ink,
reading, hands and face unsheathed.
Our children's children may curse us
for the germ-free world we've bequeathed;
free of our germs, but not the cussed
bugs their antiseptic selves cannot defeat.