Fathom Mag

Bedside Manner

A poem

Published on:
February 12, 2018
Read time:
1 min.
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He wants to put a camera in my nose
and down my throat. For a peek.
Pique. There are spices in my cupboard
that are older than this man. I tell him no.
Six months more, this time a P.A.—which
if I do not misconstrue, is someone who
practices medicine without a license but
with more self-assurance than a moose.
I tell her no. Six months more, this time
a woman with an M.D. and an indifference
you can feel across the parking lot. She
was the babysitter who didn’t care what you
drank or ate or watched or if you cut your hair.
I tell her no. She doesn’t care. I say okay.
She sprays my nose. She takes a peek. It takes
eleven seconds. I say, I’ve been to three
practitioners, but it was your bedside manner
made me brave. She looks right through me.
I could wallpaper the waiting room
on my way out, repaint her car.

She wouldn’t blink.

Linda McCullough Moore
Linda McCullough Moore is the author of four books, most recently An Episode of Grace, Collected Stories, her work praised by Alice Munro, her favorite writer. Appearing in hundreds of jounals in the US and the UK, she is the winner of numerous national fiction awards, including The Pushcart Prize XXXV. She lives and writes and mentors other writers in Northampton, MA. lindamcculloughmoore.com

Cover image by Daan Stevens.

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