the healing muse

Volume 10, 2010

Doctor Patient

David C. Manfredi

“I have no problems,” he says with a broad smile
like a man comfortable with himself.
I talk diet and exercise.
“It’s my knees,” he says. “I ride my stationary bike,” he says.
“Cut back on bread, rice, and pasta,” I say.
His eyebrows rise to unimaginable heights.
“How can it be...the staff of life?”
I hear his breath straining in non-compliant lungs.
I hear his heart forcing blood into stiff arteries.
He moves slowly, ponderously,
weighed down by bad habits.
“Don’t worry. I’m going to get to it.”
He smiles broadly again.
I discuss a life spurned for dietary indiscretions.
“OK, OK, OK,” he says. “Move more, eat less.”
It’s treadmills vs. flourmills.
I see sweat, he sees sweet;
even as plaques engulf his arteries.
Again, he smiles broadly and hugs me,
content with his choices.
I wonder where we are going,
and who will get there first.

Return to Table of Contents, Volume 10, 2010.

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