My doctor leans in close
Steel stethoscope coursing my chest
Like a sucker from an octopus,
Though that would be warmer.
“Not good, not good”
He holds out the instrument a foot,
Two feet from his ears and makes faces.
My heart murmur is annoying him.
He’s from Nicaragua and I guess
That’s doctor humor where he comes from
But still I am uneasy.
Another pronouncement: “Terrible, terrible”
As he looks at some notes.
When did I get to be terrible, (two times over) ?
I look down at my hands folded in my lap.
Is this what my mother has been saying forever:
“Such a disappointing child.”
Are these the predictions of teachers, ex-inlaws
And assorted strangers that have come true?
“Go home and walk.”
What? No meds this time?
Nothing to irritate my gut,
My conscience, and ultimately
So I do, and listen for
That ‘not good’ heart
And notice it is dusk,
And the spring trees in the distance
Stand as sentinels just brushed with
A phantom greenery
And the swallows and bats
Play chicken in the darkening sky
And I go crazy in the looming dusk and yell:
“Joy! Joy! Joy! Joy!”