I just finished this poem after a rather frustrating period of feeling overly self-absorbed and subsequently finding myself in a less than compassionate space.
I watch you hang up. Slowly.
You’ve just finished confirming it again:
“I’ll see you tomorrow. 8:30.”
But tomorrow, I note, is Saturday.
I’ve just double checked to make sure,
Forever doubting my ability to pass an MMSE.
The clinic I note is closed tomorrow.
After ringing the pharmacy,
Speaking of glucometer, dehydration,
And then recalling the wife, presumably,
You explain: gentleman, prostate,
Cancer, palliative. Glucose 36.0.
Wants to die at home,
Why, wouldn’t you?
More about principles, oath than
Details of insulin regime, or lunch time.
Through listening, reassuring,
Offering time, space and touch.
Of humility, the community family physician.
One patient, or rather fellow human.
Whose concerns turn ours.
Tomorrow at 8:30 comes and goes,
For me, I was skiing or maybe sleeping in.
But as I sit to write, reflect and ponder.
I too hope I’ll find the time and space,
To care. Even on Saturdays.