The Waiting Room

By Pamela Davis

At least there’s People magazine, some movie star
or British Royal on the cover. Looking for gloss,
it’s Queen Elizabeth waving from under a hat
the size of a brood hen. She’s been on my mind
since she addressed her subjects during the pandemic.
Her dress was the color of scrubs, a matching brooch
mounted on bosom, and the familiar pearls
she wears for pomp and doleful occasions. 

In 1940, before I was born, the 14 year-old Lilybet
broadcast words of comfort to all of England’s children,
especially those like herself separated for safety
from their parents during the London Blitz. I watched
her coronation on our grainy black and white Philco
sandwiched between my parents and brothers.
Mom was pregnant with our third brother on the way.
We pressed our noses so close to the screen,
Dad said we’d all go blind. All that’s left of our family
is my little brother and me. He finally watched the crowning
on his TV starring an actress who looked nothing like the Queen. 

The Queen and I have grown old together, worn our share
of ridiculous fashion. During COVID, her message
seemed to include the whole frightened world. We shall endure,
she told us, one hand on a writing desk, steady eyes on ours.
We will be with our families again, she said. We will meet again,
she promised. Who are we to doubt the Queen of England?

Pamela Davis’s poems appear nationally and internationally in over 100 publications. Her first poetry book, Lunette, received the ABZ Poetry Prize in 2015. A native Californian, she is happiest hiking the local foothills and exploring France.