Visit to the Geriatric Doc by Alan Walowitz

Visit to the Geriatric Doc

Though young, it seems like he was born for this,
the way he can tell an old guy
there’s a problem without revealing much at all.
But who could refuse more blood work—
sort of free on Medicare—
though the waiting could wear you down to a nub?
I try my oughta-be-retired Geritol joke
and he says, What’s that?
and I answer, For tired blood,
and he goes, Hmmph, with half a smile
and one eyebrow gently raised
to acknowledge—while mostly consumed by his phone—
he hasn’t the faintest what I’m talking about.
Then he chokes my arm with a rubber band to pop my vein,
no gentle man, this one, for all his politesse
and says, You’ve got good veins,
and I want him so to address me as Pop.
I’d say, Thanks, Son—cause we’re beginning to feel like family—
with all the attending discomfort
of knowing everything about each other
that we’re ever likely to know.
And this visit just the beginning;
and, sure as I’m sitting on the edge of his table
chilled in my undershirt,
it will not be a happy end.

by Alan Walowitz

Editor’s Note: They say that age is just a state of mind, but it’s also stuffing your brain full of memories that young folk don’t understand. Mortality tends to catch up with us in the end, much like the last line of this poem.


4 responses to “Visit to the Geriatric Doc by Alan Walowitz”

  1. Ken Avatar

    Hey, Al..look at the bright side…you’ve got good veins !!…unless, of course, it’s what he says that to all us geezers…

    Enjoyed your poem, old friend…may even try to get my hands on a bottle of Geritol..


    1. ajwal328 Avatar

      It’s never too early for Geritol. What do you mean, “old friend”?

  2. Arnold J Eliezer Avatar
    Arnold J Eliezer

    To atone for being late, I read your poem twice, though it didn’t make me feel any younger! It reminded me of the first time I went to a doctor who was significantly younger than me. I had to restrain myself from addressing him as “son”. One consolation of the golden Years is that when the end comes, people won’t bother saying, “What a shame- he died so young.”

    1. ajwal328 Avatar

      Thanks, Arnold J. This is in plenty of time! Happy birthday.

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