Saturday, January 2, 2010

St. Basil the Great (patron saint of hospital administrators)

I doubt that the weary-eyed woman

behind the hospital desk

thinks of you, Basil the Great,

as she files those x-rays

of breaks and splintered bone

all those disasters under flesh.

If she asked you to reveal

the mystery of a cloud

around the heart,

would you oblige?

At home, she dreams

that none of these diagnoses

are real. The children go home,

the grandfathers wake up,

and the cancer slips away

like a ribbon at the beach.

This gets her through the night.

Would you say that

she is simply an interpreter

who explains visions in sleep

to make them serve her own end?

Doctor of the Church,

if only she was sleeping,

if only these graphs and charts

told something other than the truth.

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