Thursday, November 25, 2021

A Patient Biography

In the middle 1960s,
Dr. Holman, orthopedic
Surgeon extraordinaire, looked like
Alfred Hitchcock or Orson Welles,

And smoked outside the hospital
Each morning before surgeries.
He spoke in a nasal basso,
And he had those bone-surgeon hands—

Large, strong, meaty, firm, but soft-skinned.
He plastered children’s casts himself.
He was among the first to try
Intramedullary rodding,

And when a seven year-old boy
Near died of a staph infection,
He angrily switched hospitals.
If you were one of his patients,

You felt you were in caring hands.
And then, at some point, he retired,
And then, at some point, died, of course.
His patients never knew much more.

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