Because you were discovered in time,

Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos regrouped.

Back from rehab, your travail continues.

A skein of glances looms the story

as you navigate the hospital corridors.

The past surges and eddies through the present,

with a logic, texture, and tenacity of its own.

Uncomfortable and remote, colleagues

remember the lies, all the lies….

The tensile strength of that rebarbative web endures.

Silence hangs heavy like musty tapestry.

Overlooking pathognomonic signs,

we were complicit in denial.

Suspicions, slight as dandelions, became puffballs,

dispersed on a gentle breeze.

Until we forgive ourselves, we cannot forgive you.

“Gifts of imperfection,” an oxymoron

puzzling to physicians, morph into recognition of,

if not empathy for, your suffering.


A graphic reminder of our vulnerability, so finely threaded,

you bear witness to stark and savage reality.

Wearing a darkness both sooty and soft,

lofty aspirations become straitjackets

until we can acknowledge that

doctors get sick, too.