At the Clinic

at-the-clinic

She registered with casual aplomb,
then, with the other patients, took a seat
and, patiently as well, began to thumb
through magazines.  She never missed a beat.

Each jaw went slack; each eyeball turned to stare
in unison. They judged her overripe
for fundamental psychiatric care.
(An illness of the vegetative type.)

Her name is called. (To be pronounced deluded?)
As if she thought it proper to appear
in public thus: a celery stalk protruded
from both her nostrils, carrots from each ear.

Undaunted by this diagnostic plight,
the doctor said: “You’ve not been eating right.”

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cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2000