Days of anticipation,
Subtle control from silent dictators of wellbeing.
Thousands wait, churning mental bargains
With their Maker.
The hum of a printer.
Lab results on hard copy.

Sick, healthy, proud, ashamed, confident, frightened?
The questions tap dance on my emotions,
Envelop my fears,
Capture them, then suspend them in time.

Once, numbers were
Friendly, factual… simple information.
Inches, feet, days, time, totals – all superfluous data;
Meaningful, but powerless.
Now THE NUMBERS paint themselves
In neon orange across my forehead.
Exposed, the world judges.
Assesses my worth.

The printer lies still
Impatiently, I scan the report
For delivery of mood and self-esteem.
Will THE NUMBERS make me whole?
Offer a sigh of relief?

Life on hold until empowered,
THE NUMBERS tell me I am well,
Grant temporary release.
Transitory freedom.

Too soon, the cycle repeats,
Plunders my security.
The universe chuckles,
Reminds me fate has taken charge.
Liberty or punishment, I have no control.
I hold my breath and wait once more for –