Kim Doyle

What The Left Hand Is Doing

“The practice of medicine is an art, not a trade; a calling, not a business; … William Osler

He visits doctors;
they have him in their palm.
He stays calm when a cardiologist listens
to his chest and says: “Oh yes,
I hear the pneumonia.”

His antibiotics have expired;
perhaps he should have more?
His knees are sore, he’s tired – is that a side effect
or what?

In hospital he shares room
with a hindu, who speaks only hindi.
The nurses say: “How can I help you,
Mr. Kumar.” Mr. Kumar answers in hindi.
say louder.

He remembers they used
to bleed patients to make them well,
when at 5: 00 AM he is awakened
by a “ little stick.” Perhaps,
there are vampires in the cellar.

It’s such a hassle to pee
into a hand-held urinal, when
he can walk.

Someone is tracing his heart line;
someone with a white coat
has a hand on his throat.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, November 29, 2008

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