Tuesday, March 17, 2009

poem of the day 03.17.09

never enough time

the doctor welcomes me
he tells me to sit down
while he checks my chart
and i hear the rumble of my stomach and think
there is never enough time
then the doctor he checks
my ears and eyes and throat
he rubs his hands up and down my neck
looking for swollen lymph nodes
while i think about my wife and poetry
how there is never enough time
the doctor puts the cold
stethoscope to my chest
he has me breathe through the mouth
while he goes around my back and belly
getting the heart rate
while i think of lost youth
and the smell of old summertime dinners
opening a brand new bottle of wine
and i know there is never enough time
he has me lay down
the doctor takes a tourniquet
then he jabs me in the arm to draw blood
while we talk about cholesterol
and irritable bowel syndrome and my job
the doctor’s ceiling is made out of glass
it lets in natural light
and i watch two planes fly by as i think about
my travel books to england
sitting on the bookshelf at home
the way the mohave desert feels on your arm
after nearly 3,000 miles in a beat up car
and why there’s never enough time
when we’re done drawing blood
the doctor gets the ekg machine ready
he puts cold suckers on my arms and chest and legs
then the machine kicks on
it makes a soothing rattle
and i try to think about nothing
about sports
about lebron james scoring double nickels
last night
the misery of the world baseball classic
football free agency
yet all i can think about is mortality
but then the doctor shuts the machine off
he takes the suckers out of me
and i think again about how there is
never enough time
but the heart is good he tells me
the pulse is fine
the blood pressure is 130/90 in both arms
but not too bad
the doctor has me get up
he shakes my hand and tells me to keep
staying away from the salt and the dairy
we smile to good health
then i see the receptionist and pay my bill
i go outside and call my wife and tell her the good news
march is here i say
march is cold as hell right now and i miss you, i say
but spring is coming
still there is never enough time
there never will be, i think
then i move down the street
heading toward my favorite bagel place
where i’ll buy two whole wheats
and a medium coffee with fat free milk and sugar
before i go home
and pour myself a stiff one about the time
the old digital clock strikes noon.

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