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6 x 9.5
February 2009

Laurel Books

My Crooked House,by Teresa Carson

Waiting Room Reader, Vol II: Words to Keep You Company, Guest Editor Rachel Hadas

Motherhood Exaggerated,by Judith Hannan

Little Boy Blue: A Memoir in Verse, by Gray Jacobik

Letters From a Distant Shore, by Marie Lawson Fiala

The Waiting Room Reader, Vol I: Stories to Keep You Company, Senior Editor: Joan Cusack Handler

We Mad Climb Shaky Ladders, by Pamela Spiro Wagner

Elegy for the Floater, by Teresa Carson

Surviving Has Made Me Crazy, by Mark Nepo

To The Marrow, by Robert Seder

Body of Diminishing Motion, by Joan Seliger Sidney

Life With Sam, by Elizabeth Hall Hutner

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We Mad Climb Shaky Ladders

We Mad Climb Shaky Ladders by Pamela Spiro Wagner

By Pamela Spiro Wagner


The Waiting Room ReaderPAMELA SPIRO WAGNER is an award-winning writer who lives with schizophrenia complicated by narcolepsy and CNS Lyme disease. She graduated from Brown University and briefly attended medical school. Despite having spent at least eight years of her life in psychiatric units, she co-authored Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and their Journey through Schizophrenia (St. Martin’s Press, 2005), which was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award. Presently she writes WAGBlog at and is at work on another book.


Poem in Which Paranoia Strikes at the Grocery Store

You would choose a cart with wheels
that squeak. Your clothes are much too colorful.
The noise your clogs make
announces you with each step. Who
gave you permission to enter? No one
wants you here. They are all watching.
It is important to know
if you will splurge
on the expensive foreign grapes
or go with cheap bananas.

Behind you, watch out. She conceals herself well
but you sense her there when you turn around.
Sound floods your ears, rising like water.
You push ahead. Quick, next aisle.
A cart left crosswise!—Who?
Why? No way around.
No thought but flight.
You crash through the barricade,
race for Dairy—
She stays just one aisle behind.

If this were a poem
a lot of things could happen.
But the poem went home a long time ago.
It will not help you.
You are in the grocery store.
You believe you are being followed.
You are on your own.