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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, United States

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Medical Care

The appointment was made a year ago.
A chirpy voice on the telephone reminds you a day before,
Calling you by your first name, of course,
as though you were ten.

The waiting room is filled with persons
in varying stages of decrepitude.
How do they communicate with someone
who has lost his marbles?

Do you have your insurance cards?
Has your name, address, marital status changed?
Take a seat; you'll be called.
And you are, loudly, by your first name.

Recite your medications to the technician.
She records test results, vanishes.
The door is closed -- silence.
Time to sit and worry.

Contemplate your sins.
Anticipate an early demise.
Rehearse your account of symptoms.
The door opens; the great man enters.

Some live examination, without comment.
Rapid fire instructions: what to do, what to take.
Get your prescriptions on the way out.
See you in a year.

You forgot to tell him all you planned.
Your answers to his questions were vague.
You wanted to talk about your lifestyle.
You're a chart with checked-off entries.

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