“Follow Up” – Poetry by M.A. Schaffner

Hospital Visit - Kathe Kollwitz, circa 1928
Hospital Visit – Kathe Kollwitz, circa 1923

“Follow Up” is one of four graceful & plaintive poems by M.A. Schaffner in our Winter 2015 issue.

{ X }

YOU CAN’T TELL BY LOOKING IN OUR FACES.
For some of us the tests are just routine.
For others, of course, a sentence of death.

Brave or stupid, cowardly or aware,
more or less imaginative or astute —
strange that we should all be called a patient.

Then the friendly helpful receptionist
who shuffles and cuts evolving decks of files.
Then the corridors, buffed and vacuumed daily.

As many times as we sit and wait
for each procedure labeled as routine,
the first that isn’t can only mean

but one link in a chain that holds a swing
on a porch from which we watch the healthy pass.

{ X }

M. A. SchaffnerM.A. SCHAFFNER has had poems published in Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, Agni, Poetry IrelandPoetry Wales, and elsewhere. Other writings include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia or the 19th century.

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