Tuesday, February 17, 2015

in the clinic

They sent me for this Cat-Scan
to see just what the trouble was
why i had been coughing
as regular as a terminal TB case brewing

As I waited my turn
to ride the machine
a nurse gave me a little cup of water
to drink on down

It was far less desperate off the page
this wait, the bag of rags between the knees,
I appeared to be the only patient there
yet to receive
a diagnosis
All the rest bowled over on Chemo
brittle as vases
nodding occasionally like sunflowers
in spite of it all
the cheerless expanse of wall

They sat across from me sipping
as though the simple act of swallowing
was something unfathomable

And the machine
older now like the best of us
chipped around the edges
a fairground jalopy for catatonics,
listing this way
and that

injecting iodine for the simple
ballpoint reason of it

Well, I have squandered less memorable moments
and called it fun

The results
came back
a few weeks sooner than anticipated
The respiratory
scan was miraculously unblemished
but shadows
laboured in orbit

The clinician
made it clear
that this was something far from that
a trip to the moon, the unwritten side

beyond that
it was not his field

I remind myself of this
as I tear the cellophane
on my second pack of cigarettes
of the day
The picture on the reverse
is of a row of irreparably damaged teeth
it appalls me
how one is compelled to pay look on it

No comments: