douglas polk

Cancer Checkup

the old lady said she was a bookworm,
hard to believe,
she quit reading every time a new patient arrived,
eavesdropping on each new check in,
her eyes positively lit up,
when a patient directed to the chemo room,
secretly smiling,
eyes closed,
memorizing the directions,
wonder if she didn’t give her old man cancer,
out of boredom,
hiding behind a book cover,
an undercover spy,
a healthy person,
in a community of death and pain,
living vicariously through the dying.

Douglas Polk is a poet from central Nebraska.