I know I’m supposed to be sick….

I know I’m supposed to be sick when

I visit my neighbourhood chemist

After my neighbourhood doctor

Has sent my prescription.

 

I know, I know I’m supposed to be sick.

Waiting my turn and watching the assistants at work

 

 

But looking at the purple eye shadow on

The scarce lids of her far eastern eyes,

Her flat face with it’s shining complexion,

Hearing his accented Dutch

As he explains to the customer the protocol to her treatment

And wondering – where is he from

An apple orchard somewhere East?

Tiny apartment in Warsaw? Village Serbia? Kroatia?

….And admiring her youth and her outlined face

Made more prominent by her tight headscarf

With little sign of her far away ancestors

In her impeccable Hollandse speech.

 

I know I know I’m supposed t be sick

Waiting my turn and watching the assistants at work.

 

Taking note of her middle aged body

In her white coat and her white clogs

Opening white drawers or picking up

White paper packets of medicine

In her white hands.

And he, I see could have been my neighbour

In Mumbai or Bangalore or Hyderabad

Should I break out in Hindi –

Here in the middle of Amsterdam?

He waves out to me when I least expect it

On his bicycle and I on mine…. here and there.

 

I know, I know I’m supposed to be sick

Waiting my turn and watching the assistants at work.

 

Outside the arms of the windmill turn and the tourists

Pose before it for pictures.

Inside I fantasize about distant places

I have probably never been to while

Waiting my turn and watching the assistants at work.

 

I know, I know I’m supposed to be sick.

But sitting here on this bench at my neighbourhood chemist’s

I begin to feel the warm glow of good health

Watching the assistants at work.

 

 

 

 

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