Sensory Overload

Fluorescent lights flicker, hum.

Watches beep, declare the time.

Pages flip and rustle like dead leaves.

People breathe, cough, sigh.

Fingers unzip, rummage, re-zip a purse.

Bright, loud clothes punctuate the room.

Air conditioners hum and blow.

Teacher drones in monotone, on and on.

Restless feet tap out syncopated rhythms.

Lips sip, slurp, swallow hot coffee.

The minute hand creeps toward twelve.

My mind splinters in a dozen directions.

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Bored on the Ward

Restless inmates fidget in plastic chairs
While pencils tap, tap, tap out rhythms
That echo through the dingy white halls.

Back and forth, wardens pace the floors.
Words drone on deaf ears as glazed eyes
Scan the meaningless graffiti on the walls.

The clock ticks off time, second by second
As the captives idly bide each minute
Until the hour of sweet pardon befalls.