The Lives of Old Parents

by Lamont Palmer

The white, frightening coats of doctors have easily become rivers,
rivers of white to gingerly step in. Engulfed by
a frequency of appearing physicians,
the old ones walk in, a Bataan march, lame old soldiers, 
through white coat rivers.

Sitting on the cold table is no sitting on a green hill,
a door closing, wooden and tough
is no evening tumbling into softness.
This is the revealing time, the disassembling time.
This is the time to take it all off, like an ailing stripper.

Aged one, I know your vulnerability is a hamster in a child's hand.
This is the doctor's hand. It has amiable but indifferent digits.
His white, antiseptic nails are as clean as your wish to not be here.

Forever, there is a healing, in the sun, in the earth,
sitting the office of the deity, 
but this is the office of the earth-bound magic man, 
his magic, a medicinal cane, sometimes foul, sometimes sturdy,
always, always prayed upon, boosted by the miracle words.
You both sit there weakly, needing to believe in
this doctor, the resiliency your ailing humanity, 
the mortal reason for this visit.

The Lives of Old Parents by Lamont Palmer

© Copyright 2005. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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