Bag packed by the door, and sometimes I’ve even put my coat on,
And then I know that I have to make the call.If I was smart, I’d schedule a visit, have the nurse set up a time
To have the patient drop by after the test is done,
If only I was smart!
But today it is too late for that, Friday night,
And a weekend of intolerable waiting for the patient,
So I make the call at half past 6.
If I make it to the third ring, I start to rehearse a message,
But with the fourth ring, a soft voice breaks the silence.The answer is always cancer, it’s never the plague, or leprosy, or even a kidney stone,
Once in a while it’s HIV, and one time it was TB,
But cancer is the real answer.
So I share the news, and I wait for the click
Of a dry tongue trying to form a response,
And I say, “I’m sorry, and I will see you Monday,”
And pick up my bag to head home,
Because it is always the last call of the day.