Going to the Doctor
thunders under dark purple clouds
signaling the surrender
of my one and only body
to be poked, prodded and palpated
hoping to avoid the lightning bolt
of a terrifying prognosis.
Flickering fluorescent lights
an omen in a grade B horror
prepare this sterile scene,
rubber gloves and ominous hypodermics,
a paper gown exposing my rear end.
I nonchalantly focus on the gossip
in a worn out People magazine.
Imprisoned in green cadaverous walls
the vampire arrives.
"Is that all my blood?"
Your numbers tell it all:
The dance of the lipids, glucose and albumin
triglycerides, phosphates and bilirubin.
Move on down the hall
for an X-ray, EKG, MRI, and CAT scan.
We'll keep you alive as long as we can,
turning you inside out until we uncover
everything that's happening under your skin.
Breathing in and out
what verdict can be gleaned
from those ears behind the stethoscope?
A sphygmomanometer pumps
as diagnostic formulations jell,
the perfect prescription
cast in inscrutable hieroglyphics.
Nurse calls "next patient,"
the medical magician scampers away
running from room to room
to start all over with another body.
Voltaire was right:
"While nature cures the patient
the doctor collects the fee".
- Milt Ehrlich