Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week …

“After a long battle”

I heard of his death on the radio. And now,
and now, I wonder how I will die. Days shrink
with darkness and chilblain rain. We slide
on black ice, car slams into car, love’s gone mad.
We have sung, beating out prayers on chest
and thighs, but such words are vain.
Why listen to imitations of hope? I’m stuck
inside a corpse inside a situation inside an accident.
I look for crevices where I can hide without brushing
against this bruise. I wait with good cheer to make
my escape. There are no more tests to take.
In my story, I will not be losing a long battle.
These words will not be spoken at my grave.

Risa Denenberg, NP, MSN
Tacoma, WA 98405
© 2012 American College of Physicians

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Chronically Well

queue at the doctor’s office, hoping
for a visitation. They don’t feel well,
but that’s another matter. They don’t yet
know what it is to be ill. If they ask me,
which seldom happens, I recommend
reading Magic Mountain or Cancer Ward.
Then again, they do solicit remedies.
What should they do for their megrims,
lethargy, catarrh, lumbago, vertigo?
I can only tell them there is no cure
for ordinary good health, the discomforts
life offers gamely. I encourage them
to wait patiently.

Risa Denenberg, NP, MSN
Tacoma, WA 98405
© 2012 American College of Physicians

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One Response to Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week …

  1. Pingback: “The chronically well” | Via Negativa

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