I am a General Practitioner,
working through my impatient lists,
queued for me, praying for miracles,
the waiting room (where hope still exists).
I prescribe for common complaints,
but how can I comprehend,
what their listed illnesses feel like:
To their sick-state should I now descend?
The memory-miniature woman,
sitting silently opposite me:
widower (without recent recall),
I am gone from her immediately.
Every new minute is quite foreign,
whilst her past is a vast unlocked house:
dementia devalues this moment:
a flaming disease we never douse.
A small cough-racked child is then offered,
held in vein-traced maternal embrace:
I’ve no idea which is the patient,
I shall drown in my shallow disgrace.
Me, infected, queue-sickened, instead?
I wouldn’t want to suffer their plight:
to live without cures (our common curse),
but to die, tormented, isn’t right.