Category Archives: health

A Random Examining Room

I put the book of poetry down even though
The words on most occasions bring solace
Staring out a window facing a water tower
A remembrance park for cancer patients under
Its shadows, possibly adding cool on a hot
Summer day when no one wants to stroll there
Or anywhere, unlike the painting on the adjoining wall
Whose color palette confessing its age; at the height
Of mauves, and a lightened blue that is meant to imply
Water and sky soaked in sunshine with the sailboats belying
The lake’s gift of ease probably in Italy somewhere
Tourists sipping on some spritz of wine and Campari
A plate of antipasto in wait for the two lovers luxuriating
On their lovely patio they feel too lucky to have gotten
Passion’s affections intensified by the language, the scene
Their good fortune and wine under the garish glow of the sun
A memory created by the hand and idea of some random artist
Slightly incapable, like me, who kept attempting to capture
A feeling that was wished or hoped to have happened
And a hospital administrator thought would bring peace
When any number of physicians and nurses would be tortured
With the job of saying things like, considering your age,
On a scale of one to ten how do you rate your pain,
It could be worse, you still have options, or
Is there someone we can call, and the patient thinks
I would like to go to that lake to find that someone
Before you say another word that breaks my heart

Farmer’s Market

It is dark, impending thunder, high winds;
Slate grey caution in the wall of clouds
In the imminent distance, momentary
Hesitation to head downtown away from
The promised safety of home, to the streets
Where farmer’s, bakers, florists, artisans
All specifically entwined, connected to
The wares that lay on or under tables, maybe
Being stored protectively on the organic seats of
Old Toyotas, beds of big American made Fords, Chevys
The lovingly cared for old Dodge owned by
My first stop, a gentle well worn guy who
Does not allow me to place into my bag uncovered
What he acknowledges are small strawberries
But he adamantly asserts are the sweetest
You will ever enjoy, as are his bulbous green onions,
Asparagus proudly standing in formation
For free he provides the knowledge of his years
About each purchase I make, as he speaks I hug
The memory of the uncle who similar in looks; manner
Called me Lester, to make me one of the guys; included
Like his wife who welcomed all with time, cookies
Pleasure always in shared conversation, her patch
Of strawberries and asparagus hidden down the hill
From the lines of perfectly hung laundry gently
Acknowledging the breeze and ease of hanging out
He is gone now, and what she was is too, but I
Visit them with my heart every Saturday morning
Stormy, rainy, sultry, or cool at the pool of hosts,
And hostesses of my local Farmer’s Market


The Mammogram

Take everything off down to your waist please
Put on this gown with open side to the front
When you are ready we can get started
How’s the weather? Is it still snowing?
Only a minute to get the films ready
Let’s do the right first, lay it up here,
Relax your shoulder, a step forward
Head back, some pressure, one sec
Hold your breath, relax while I
Check the view, Ok, now left side
Same thing, lean in, little more now
She doesn’t remember me, last year
Needed more views, dense breast tissue
Doesn’t mean anything, this happens a lot
She has said, and done this thousands of times
Does her voice change with a view of bad news
Does she see it, often before the radiologist
The news we all fear while we both stare
No movement, small talk distracting us
I wait, in a one-sided hug while intimate
Photos of me appear across her screen
You can wait out there, over to the left
The radiologist reads them right away
I think of all the others before me
All the women she has seen, heard
News of a journey to wait in the next room
While the doctor comes down to talk to her
Was there someone she wanted to call first
Another woman, older, appears to be reading
From a Kindle, I politely pretend to watch the tv,
My x-ray tech is back telling me they are clear and I
Can change back into my clothes, then I am free to go