Patti Masterman

What's More Expensive Than Foreign Travel (And Much Less Fun) - Poem by Patti Masterman

The doctors are all sated now
with the exotic names of expensive drugs;
the ones which they rattle off
with the acumen of exhaustively tested experience,
the sulfates and sulfides and bromides and tinctures..

It also serves to keeps the patients quietly ignorant,
so the leprous lesions and night sweats,
the dry coughs and the productive ones,
have more trouble penetrating the clouds of wisdom
of the academic temples of medicine.

The doctors bleed and exude pus
in the same quantities as the rest of us;
only they do it much cheaper,
and without the song and dance routine-
to them a cotton ball is still just a cotton ball;
not another item on unbelievably long lists of charges
(of ____ bucks minimum per usage)

Perhaps now the lawyers
could begin charging the doctors
for every swipe of white-out
and every milliliter of ink
used on every square centimeter
of parchment paper

And charge by the quarter hour, for parking spaces
and the occupying of waiting room furniture, by the poundage-
then maybe somebody, somewhere
in the unimaginably high, untouchably white, sanitized towers
might awaken long enough,
to see the ludicrous wars
that the average man must indulge in-
on his one way trip to the grave.

Better yet, why can’t we just skip the minimum charge;
Aren’t we all already living minimal lives, anyway?

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Poem Submitted: Friday, May 6, 2011

Poem Edited: Saturday, June 4, 2011

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