Awaiting the Doctor

Meter, Poetry Prose

Haibun Poetry


Conversations carry on outside the grain-laminate door. Papers rustle. A phone rings with a staccato four-beat tone in the key of “E”. Lights hum.

I sit in the last examination room on the left.

A middle-aged Filipina in sky-blue scrubs measures my blood pressure. Her eyes widen. “Let me take it on your other arm,” she says. She straps the band. Pumps. Watches the mercury rise. Listens to my pulse.

Still high.

“The Doctor will be in soon,” she says, before leaving. I finish the 15-page introduction to The Essential Basho. More time passes.

The exam room door remains closed.

ringing ears
a wrinkled poster shows
“plants to avoid”



Photograph from


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Frank J. Tassone

Frank J. Tassone lives in New York City's "back yard" with his wife and son. He fell in love with writing after he wrote his first short story at age 12 and his first poem in high school. He began writing haiku and haibun seriously in the 2000s. His haikai poetry has appeared in Failed Haiku, Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Contemporary Haibun, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Society of America member anthologies. He is a contributing poet for the online literary journal Image Curve, and a performance poet with Rockland Poets. When he's not writing, Frank works as a special education high school teacher in the Bronx. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys time with his family, meditation, hiking, practicing tai chi and geeking out to Star Wars, Marvel Cinema and any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy film and TV worth seeing.

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