Mourning a mistress

Much I learned from Medicine;
Much I saw her healing art.
Much I loved this mistress sanguine;
Much she offered from the heart.

First, the wide-eyed disbelief
In pain, to watch a young man die:
Faceless victim, carved relief:
Steeled—no breath—unseeing eye.

Early on, the ebb and flow
Of flailing heart; a pallid face—
Her story stoked with gasps and woe—
Whispered words and clouded grace.

There were the books, those countless books—
Formulae, facts, learned by heart;
Signs and symptoms, on tenterhooks
Recalled, as required by the art.

Humanness sustained me always;
Grief malnourished sleepless nights.
If not to cure, then listen always;
Don the cloak of second sight.

Then, of late, betrayal, riven;
Bought by value-added verse,
Healthcare digitally driven
By Masters of the Universe:

Enterprising party payers
Snatch their complement of coin;
Ivory-towered emerald cities
Meld the meek, together join.

Long ago I learned the taste
Of bitter copper on the tongue;
Now, at eventide, I mourn
My former mistress, lately gone.

Gone to lie with other lovers,
Spin another golden thread;
Leaving only one silk stocking
Draped across an empty bed.

Much I learned from Medicine;
Much I saw her healing art.
Much I loved this former mistress,
Much she offered from the heart.

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One comment on “Mourning a mistress

  1. Bill Harris says:

    Marvelous. Heartfelt. My career has shared the joy and the pain of loss.

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