Social Justice Poetry

Health Care | A Social Justice Poem by J.K. Durick

After thirty years on the job, my doctor is retiring.
He’s been my doctor for more than twenty-five of
those – what’s that, twenty-five annual check ups
and how many follow-ups, blood pressure and all,
a cold or two, a sore elbow, he’s talked me through
it all, had a way of asking questions, poking and
prodding, literally and figuratively, suggesting this
and prescribing that; I always walked away better
than when I arrived, my asthma and allergies under
control, even my familial tremors steadied enough
to get by without looking possessed, and the rest.
It was so simple, always insured, a large medical
center nearby, the full array of specialists ready in
the wings, I’d call, an appointment awaited, earlier
or later whichever fit; it was that easy, now I am
out shopping, something I hate to do, and now I’m
told that no one dies from lack of health care, words
to live by, to drag around with my pre-existing self
that human condition I have lived with so long, luck
of the draw, it seems, right now reminds me of that.

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