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Medical Humanities

Ode to the Oath

Joseph Allencherril

October 16, 2015

O White mantel!
you are weightier than 
your many esters betray!

Patiently will you fight back pain
as you fight back the pains of patients
with pills and percussions and 
prescriptions of all species.

Behold, these genteel elders 
with hair gray as graphite, 
in its full-on geriatric glory
(no pain Rogaine they say)
have entrusted you to me.

Dearest coat, 
in your present purity, 
forbid me from making 
this oath hypocritical.

Let us hope these gyri
one day swell up like a plum 
hooked on gibberellins,

to persist not in
analgesic slumber,
but in perpetual learning,
REMing across the piles 
of pages left to us by the ages.

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