ELEVEN is the score, more often than not,

That patients give their pain from one to ten.

They look at me with pity, fool that I am,

Each time I ask—A little or a lot ?—

As if they do not know where to begin,

Wondering if I even give a damn,

Another white coat filling out a chart

To file away or lose. Some laugh, some cry,

And some do both, unable to explain;

What number can we give the human heart,

Writhing in anguish, that can quantify

The sinister predicament of pain?