A Duty Now To Die

Rating: 2.8

They'd badgered him, the family,
to go and have the tests, since, after all,
one needed to take all that modern medicine
and science had to offer to prevent,
prolong, improve and otherwise enhance
the human misery into something much more serene.

The'd taken at the firehouse his pulse,
and measured how much pressure it did make,
'this little heart of his, at rest and on the mill.
Sinister faces then prescribed the wonder pill,
it's what he needed to survive, thanks to his God.
It was, needless to say, the God of Modern Medicine,
which had its sticky fingers in a thousand pies,
'you'll take this pill, but twice a day for life,
it is called Lipitor and it will save your hide.'

Now this small pill will change the rules, at that,
of your physiology, it will prevent the synthesis
of much cholesterol through clever trickery,
while curing nothing and suppressing what
is sorely needed for the heart and every cell.

Let's kill you softly, says the ghost from Pharmaland,
it's of extreme importance that you put your trust
into the ways of modern man, and when it dawns
upon your mind that there is love, you will, of course,
take in the meaning of the Guv's most famous words:
It is the elderly who have a need to die.

jim hogg 31 January 2007

It is a rather remarkable declaration, and explains - and justifies - very clearly the structure and content of this very interesting piece of poetry. As if the aged don't feel guilty enough.

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Linda Ori 12 July 2006

Ah, yes - Lipitor. The cure-all for hyperlipidemia. If you can tolerate the muscle aches and the inflammation of your liver, you just may live another few years. Or until they find that it causes shrinkage of the brain cells, or some other such unpredicted malady. Pick your poison, that is, if you can afford it! I'm leaning toward alternative medicine - may be alot safer in the long run. Nice write, Herbert. Linda

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Herbert Nehrlich1 02 July 2006

Thanks for the kind words but the story is in the poem. Governor Richard Lamm of Colorado made the infamous statement 'The elderly have a duty to die'. That was the inspiration. Best H

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Séamus Fox 02 July 2006

I love this poem Herbert but please tell me the story around it will you? Seamus

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Gina Onyemaechi 02 July 2006

I was rather unprepared for this marked switch in mood, Herbs. Dark but strong piece of writing with skill in the characterisation of the protagonists in particular. I don't care to discuss the message - too disturbing. Let me wish you goodnight. Goodnight, Herbs. G.

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