fostering the humanistic practice of medicine publishing personal accounts of illness and healing encouraging health care advocacy

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Tag: patient poems

Harvest

In early morning appointments,
the doctor’s coat reeks of cigarettes
as he moves closer,
says “Scoot down,”
inserts the probe.

They want me to want my eggs
in case the treatment takes them—
to hold fast to the dream of a child
with my dimples and dark eyes.

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The Bite

In the springtime, a zombie showed up,
breaking down our door and biting me.

Friends and neighbors asked questions,
not daring to come near,

leaving flowers, candles, baked goods
on our crooked stoop.

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Prognosis

Small birds teeter
on the wires by the feedstore.

Crows scatter broken seedpods
beneath the streetlight.

Flowering weeds crowd the dusty sidewalk,
sickly yellow or red as blood.

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Tinnitus

Occasionally it sounds like
a cathedral tower full of bells
but usually it’s more like the last
scatter of cicadas at the end of summer,
an almost pleasant buzz and whirr,

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Cultivation Also Starts With C

The eradication of non-native Fallopia japonica,
for all intents and purposes, must be considered a
practical impossibility. The aggressive nature of the
plant, combined with the similarly harmful side effects
of the removal options, renders it one of the most
devastating blights facing modern homeowners today.

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Lake Michigan Sunset

Everything’s gone silent
as though a group of doctors has entered
the children’s ward.

Drone of water vehicles stowed,
a couple strolls the long edge of conversation.

Waves, like fear, have subsided—
only their small breaths remain.

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Toxemia of Pregnancy

There was the bed bent in half,
the needle in the wrist,

the crack of bathroom light under the door.
Your father tried to sleep in the hospital cot

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Healing

When I thought I might die,
not eventually, but very
soon, I treated me more kindly,

as if I were my own child,
the girl I was, and the woman
I am, all melded

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Continent

          Contact: from the Latin for touch.
          Isolate: from the Latin for island.

Because your breath had touched mine,
I was obliged to metamorphose
into a separate land mass,
to wear a collar of brine
like a heavy gurgling yoke

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Seated on My Hospital Bed

My seventh-floor window vibrates,
          the room throbs in crescendo
as a rescue helicopter stitches
          a curved seam across the sky
bound for Children’s Hospital.

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Migraine

It’s not the heart that gathers all the pain
of our life, it’s the head;
burning head, cremating all my movements
forcing me to fake that I exist:

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