As a physician you learn to diagnose many physical signs of disease
including ascites fluid in the belly, clubbed bluish swollen nails,
gynecomastia’s excessive male breast tissue, hemoptysis
which is blood-stained sputum, even death rattles —
but I never was taught the 3-Heating Pad Sign
which meant it was time for me to accelerate
the comprehensive workup & treatment
for increasing left leg pain after chasing
my baby grandson who was falling
off a merry-go-round. Ugly knee
+ uglier spine + ugliest hip on
three MRIs. Thus if old dogs
can have ticks + ringworm +
fleas, this septuagenarian
cat can use a recliner
+ cane + Neurontin +
Vicodan then get hip
steroids injected +/-
L 2-3-4 epidurals
while considering
which joints to
replace first or
spinal fusions
— whether to
choose neuro
or orthopedic
surgeons to
just do it —
or wait on

Gerard Sarnat was nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize. He has authored four collections: HOMELESS CHRONICLES (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014) and Melting The Ice King (2016) which included work published in Gargoyle, Lowestoft, American Journal of Poetry and was featured in Songs of Eretz, Avocet, LEVELER, tNY, StepAway, Bywords, Floor Plan. Dark Run, Scarlet Leaf, Good Men Project and Anti-Heroin Chic feature sets of new poems. Mount Analogue selected KADDISH FOR THE COUNTRY for distribution as a pamphlet on Inauguration Day 2017 and as part of the Washington/nationwide Women’s Marches. For Huffington Post/other reviews, readings, publications, interviews; visit Harvard/Stanford educated, Gerry has worked in jails, built/staffed clinics for the marginalized, been a CEO of healthcare organizations and Stanford Medical School professor. Married since 1969, he has three children, four grandchildren.