Surgical Consult

Surgical Consult

A complex mathematical language
was brought into play
to explain
the expert care that ran to lots of zeros
none of them being at the front of the number
and you do understand the difficulties?
oh that’s good.
It’s nothing to worry about
It’s quite an ordinary situation
but not exactly
and wouldn’t it have been nice
if I’d brought the right parts with me

parts are always coming in late –
but I didn’t
I apologize, madam,
but your gall bladder
will be fine.
Just not today. Don’t worry.
I will be back with you
in four days
from next Monday. I promise.
Just relax in the waiting room.
The nurse will call you.


2 thoughts on “Surgical Consult

  1. As I read the poem, I had entirely failed to absorb the title of the poem so I was thinking the repairs were being done to some sort of machine, specifically an item of technology full of microchips, so it made me chuckle aloud when I got to the “gall bladder” and realized it was about human surgery. I do think an awful lot of surgeons and doctors generally just see human bodies as a collection of parts they need to engineer and repair.

    • Yes. I learned this with my hand surgeries. My surgeon was right on top of things when the case was in its crisis mode but as I healed and made follow-up visits, it was clear to see his interest wane (surgeons are like this, I think). I took it as a sign all was progressing well, that he was losing interest.

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