Poem of the Month
Ward Calls

By Deena Kara Shaffer

Published on March 1, 2014

First, post-diagnosis apology.
Next, a trained volunteer’s called in
to make the lonely wait less so.
Then, the oncologist comes armed
with a social worker, to talk it out, softly.

Noxity, necrosity, one node at a time,
less pink, less supple, less discrete:
the disease drone on a roll.

Near the end, calls out for the commode,
and a PSW to wipe;
Yelping Lactulose! for narcotic’s bind, Ativan for the fear.
Last, Haldol, for the verge,
and a priest to sing you there.

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