Print Email

Medical Humanities

Your loyal mashed potato plumber sidekick

Herbert Rosenbaum

October 13, 2016

i see You: 
in the recesses of Your mind: 
dust in the corner; forgotten. 
but someone is there – 
Your eyes illuminate Your mental residence. 
look! i can see into Your home – how beautiful and cozy! 
they extend Your sincerest invitation for company 
when Your words cannot, 
and i am delighted to accept 
and stay for tea. 

a foreign language You speak; 
i am told it is untranslatable – 
“neological, slurred, and broken,” they say. 
but they ignore Your smile – a universal code 
which expresses Your childlike excitement 
as You exclaim Your greatest revelation: 
“two thimbles might fix the pipe leak 
inside the cloudy mashed potatoes!” 
let’s find the sewing kit, Sir, 
and rejoice in today’s adventure. 

time summons my presence. but such a pleasure to meet You! 
and may i happily meet You again 
for the first time tomorrow, as 
i will inevitably disappear 
among the lost firings of 
neurons when You rest 
Your head tonight. 
sleep well, 
my Dear 

one day You will be remembered as a Peacenik,
an Educator, Your wife’s Best Friend.
and maybe one day i will be remembered 
as Your loyal mashed potato plumber sidekick… 
but so long as Your home shines bright 
and the company tea simmers quietly on the stove top 
even when Your light dims 
i vow to care for You, always.
View Editor's Comments

Herbert B. Rosenbaum, M.D. Class of 2017, is a proud native of San Antonio, Texas, an alumnus of The George Washington University, and a fourth year medical student at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. His medical interests include family medicine, primary care, geriatric medicine, medical politics, and end-of-life management. Mr. Rosenbaum urges his physician and medical student readers to start meaningfully addressing the elephant in the room (and perhaps American medical culture's biggest failure): death and dying - a common subject of many of his creative works and critical essays.