The Teaching Hospital

A fortnight before a Christmas past, Sally Jane
Felt a pain in her belly, so she went to the local
Teaching hospital, the finest in the land; while
Waiting nervously on the examination table, in

Marched a hyena, a lizard, and a dromedary,
Each duly clad in coats distinguished and white –
And each was so learned and spectacled, as if
They’d descended from a truly great height – the

Dromedary did a dance around the table, while
The lizard jumped up and down, while the hyena
Unleashed a cackling laugh while having a good
Look at her naked. Quoth the pontifical hyena:

“This is the finest teaching hospital in the land,
Where only point zero zero one percent get to
Do their residency, and so it’s an honor for you
To be here – do you have any idea what that

Means – that only point zero zero one percent
Gain admission?” Then the dromedary ordered
A great many tests, some that made long beeps,
While others made short ones, while the lizard

Furiously took notes; then she was handed a
Bill from a frog that lives up the hill, and went
Home disconsolate and forlorn

David Penner’s articles on politics and health care have appeared in Dissident Voice, CounterPunch, Global Research, The Saker blog, OffGuardian and KevinMD; while his poetry can be found at Dissident Voice, Mad in America, and Also a photographer, he is the author of three books of portraiture: Faces of The New Economy, Faces of Manhattan Island, and Manhattan Pairs. He can be reached at Read other articles by David.