How Was Clinic?

We humans tell stories in our attempt to make sense of our lives. Some stories are told directly, while others have their meanings concealed behind the words that we use. I love this poem, as it resonates in harmony with my own experience of life.

How Was Clinic?

They reminded me of your parents

but better dressed, my wife Jessica said

as she described a patient and her husband

she has seen in the clinic that day – a patient

with metastatic breast cancer on her way to hospice

but still asking Jessica about her life and family –

by which she meant, I think,

that they must have been wearing something

more dignified than 20-year-old-hand-me-down

skateboarding T-shirts from their son,

by which she meant, I think,

that they valued quality of life over quantity,

having seen what happened to their own parents

as they lived into the nineties,

by which she meant, I think,

that they were vulnerable in the same way

my parents were becoming vulnerable,

by which she meant, I think,

that she loved my parents

even though she was embarrassed they wore

faded Green Day shirts to fancy restaurants,

by which she meant, I think,

that she would be there for them

as they welcomed their end,

and for me.

  • Matthew J. Farrell
This entry was posted in America, Death and Dying, Family, Health and wellness, Marriage, Medicine, Poetry, Relatioships, Thoughts & Musings. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s