.o Pateras, The Good Doctor Poem by Cretan Maineiac

.o Pateras, The Good Doctor

Rating: 5.0

You look just like
him, some say, that
Spartan frame oddly augmented by
lordosis gut, glasses, & those leaky
kidneys. I
had to move his obit to

the bottom drawer, or be
reminded each
time of that permanent absence, out
of the very Way he helped
“The good doctor, ” one teacher

called him
once, pausing
for laughs, getting
none. Two thousand babies delivered &
over a hundred
White Pines planted. Even strolling through the

woods had purpose: firewood for
winter, KEEP OUT
Signs to be erected against eminent
domain, trail bikes & snowmobiles (“They say
they love the
Ecology and then run their machines all over
It.”) and a loaded.22 to protect the back-
yard veggies from
vermin all the while helping aged patients remember what
year it was during
Wednesday office hours &
Sunday morning rounds before church.

O Pateras, we called him (Anglicized: Daddy) , who by Chasing me kept me
toward the next
base (“we'll show those Mutts”) even if it meant running my team out of a
big inning, &
when I said I can’t he said

“Well CAN! ” & told me the only reason to
Slide was
to avoid being tagged, & that
Golden rods meant
School was
About to start.

“He’s a good doctor, ” said some, as
if to
convince me. “First, do no

Harm…” stood posted in his
Office, next
to the NO SMOKING sign (not
one mention of his role in
Liberating the
Patrida of Nazis) , the Caduceus, Christos kai

Panagia, the examining table (w/
stirrups) and
that fading Polaroid of
Mummy & all the
on the D.C. Capitol steps, no

awards for manning the
ER, 'he saved
my life, ' sd. many, charts

scattered & blowin' in the
wind, names &
addresses unknown to nominators of paper honors, until

That Day in 2001 when the state
benched him,
permanently, for bad eyesight. Come

August that year those kidneys
Liberated him
from further obligation to family,

country, & the
earthly realm, golden rods batter-fried in the A.M. dew, along the

Way, where vegetables once thrived. The obit (we wrote) confirmed he was a war
hero, defender of The Faith, good doctor. That evening brought

weird stars outside the
sound mind, not
visible aloft the trees in the

Eastern twilight sky, reported as
News amid
coupons by our Sunjournal. He still gets bills addressed to

him, & Invitations to
from the Archons, incidental Reminders of

the man the church bulletin limned 'tall,
elegant, dignified, ' richer in
spirit than bankbook, always 25, the

blue & white Villa @ the end of that long driveway on
Hogan Road – that
left him in the red— surrounded by those white pines, whose

needle bunches stand like
middle fingers
saluting the three-car garage, the church on

the front seven reflecting the
stubborn pride that
both afflicts & blesses over-achievers, a

byzantine intellect &
dry, backyard garden

“...just like him, ” some say
of me, &
I can only wish.

Peter Stavropoulos 26 August 2007

The older generation certainly lived through interesting times. I look like my old man too. There are many ways to honour them, especially by using words in times of peace.

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Alison Cassidy 31 August 2007

Chris - this is a very touching, beautifully sketched portrait of your (father?) penned with 'dry backyard garden wit' (just like him) and a complete absence of sentimentality (just like him too, I bet) . You give the reader just enough information to see him, but not too much so as to over egg the pudding. A warm and loving tribute, I'm sure he would approve. love, Allie xxxx

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Cece Lamberts 05 September 2007

Without getting very descriptive, you manage to paint his portrait for me with your unbeatable style that I'd recognize in an instant. Great job, Chris, love this tribute to your patera. Take pride in the fact that you do look like the good doctor, may God rest his soul. CeCe

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Ashraful Musaddeq 01 October 2008

My 10 for this moving and beautiful poem.

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Colin Jeffery 23 July 2008

Very moving by a poet of merit. great work.

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Sue Ann Simar 08 July 2008

C. M., where the content moves the form; because the content is so genuine and honest, the form follows wonderful detail. meant to be read outloud - I could hear it as I read it silently - Sue Ann Simar

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It's hard to know who your reader will love more; your father, or you. Hugs. t x

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Dee Daffodil 05 September 2007

Chris...This was a sweet and touching tribute to the man who helped you grow to the person you are today. He sounds like a firm, yet warm man...and your obvious respect and love of him...stands tall and proud! Hugs, Dee

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