Hallucinations of the Medical Humanities

And as that midnight hour duly tolled upon Death’s
Signet, I played my violin for the poor wretch as
He fixed his eyes on me imploringly, whereon we
Gathered round and sang Amazing Grace – all wept

Bitterly. There was a young woman, who was born
With a part of her brain missing; giggling like two
School girls, we would sneak out of the hospital to
Play our ukuleles in the garden. Wracked by the

Torments of Ebola, she cried out to Christ begging
For redemption, and I committed her departing soul,
Planting a kiss on her perspiring brow. The relentless
Demon engulfed her feeble body, and as I held her

Sobbing husband in my arms, we embraced fervently,
While I hummed a gentle lullaby. In pediatrics there was
A pallid young boy dying of leukemia, and as he cried
Out for his mother, I enveloped his withering frame until

He succumbed to a warm and tender sleep. Suddenly
The black mirror shattered, and the protégées of Satan
Stood out upon a blood-drenched gloaming; unsheathing
The Hadean sword, they decapitated the lords of patient

Privacy, informed consent, confidentiality, and unborn
Reason. Thereupon the fallen angels were unleashed
Upon the demons of a scorched and barren wasteland,
Where they espied their true unhallowed calling: violate,

Cull, bankrupt, get as many patients as possible addicted
To drugs, while maximizing the greatest possible profits for
The incorrigible and the damned. Vioxx, Paxil, Oxycontin
Won – engorged the careerist – undrowned the black sun.

David Penner has taught English and ESL within the City University of New York and at Fordham. His articles on politics and health care have appeared in CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Dr. Linda and KevinMD; while his poetry has been published with Dissident Voice. Also a photographer, he is the author of three books: Faces of Manhattan Island, Faces of The New Economy, and Manhattan Pairs. He can be reached at: 321davidadam@gmail. Read other articles by David.