Poem with an explanation: A timeless space

A timeless space,
where time does not seem to flow,
where time is wanted to flow,
where time is not wanted to flow.

and cold,
under lights,
that aren’t real.

and waiting,
and fearing the specter,
with silent steps,
that may be bring something,
that crushes the soul.


This poem is about waiting for the results of someone’s operation in a hospital waiting room.

The room is described as A timeless space, because while there, time does not seem the same as it used to.  As described in the poem, it is a place, where time does not seem to flow.

The next two lines of the first stanza, describe a conflicting emotion.  On the one hand, while waiting in the room, there is a sense of wanting time to move forward, so that the outcome can be known.  On the other hand, there is dread over what the outcome may be, and so, there is a sense of not wanting time to move forward, so as to delay knowing.

The next stanza describes the physical appearance of the room.  It is barren and cold and the fluorescent lights are described as not being real.  The room has a starkness to it, that matches the anticipatory emotion.

In the last stanza, there is waiting, and then as time does not seem to move, there is more waiting, and there is fear of the specter, which represents the person who will bring the news.  Before the results are known, this person is seen as something dreadful.

The specter, moves with silent steps, to signify one, that a specter floats, and two, that the hospital person may be wearing tennis shoes which are quiet when walking in.

The last two lines describe the fear of the worst possible outcome.

In terms of form, this poem has three stanzas.  The first stanza refers to time, the second refers to the physical room, and the third refers to waiting and fear.

The first stanza is four lines, the second is four lines, and the third is six lines long.

In the first stanza, each line refers to time.  Also, the last three lines all start with where time and end in to flow.  The last two lines are the same except for the last line having the word not.

The second stanza has the fewest words of the three stanzas and all its lines have three words or less.

In terms of form, in the last stanza, waiting is repeated in the first and second lines.