Going to the Doctor


Pounding heart

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