Waiting Room is the new pamphlet from London-based poet and writer Poppy Cockburn.

Through interweaving references to the natural world, Waiting Room explores the emotional tension between human connections made, almost made and lost.

With bold lyricism and touches of dark humour, Waiting Room shines a light on what it means to connect with someone, and in doing so, redefines romance.

Waiting Room by Poppy Cockburn


Poetry pamphlet – 33 pages


Taken from Waiting Room

3 a.m.

She heard my sobs
from behind the screen
Oh [insert my name] 
she held me in a candid hug
we’re the same age she said
looking at my notes.
Together, we slowly processed
through the strip-lit glow
of the humming ward
to a room, empty but for 
basins attached to the wall:
Welcome to Siobhan’s Salon
she quipped and I smiled weakly 
as she tilted my head back
with meticulous care
sluiced warm water
through my blood-dusty hair
rubbing in shampoo
and conditioner, deftly unmeshing
rusted knots, transforming them back
to silky swathes, seaweed soft.

I remember the water 
running red 
then clear again.
haunted forest

we cycled fast down streets paved with her name 
oblivious to what route we were on I followed blindly
eventually we arrived at a clearing in the woods
where the sun and leaf shadows made the light dance
and I tried to take your hands
but your wrists were limp and non-compliant
and I knew you'd been there before
it was like a gauze had been cast over us
neither you nor I could breathe or speak
silenced by the presence of someone else
it was as though I could see your memories 
a vapour rising through the trees
finally you returned to Earth
and turning slowly to me asked 
why are you crying? 

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