When I was two, my doctor
had a large house
on Cortelyou Road. The exam room
smelled like a dead frog
and my temperature was taken
rectally. By age five
I was injected with tetracycline
by Dr. Ryan. He later died

of lung cancer. Who influenced me
the most, a medical school
interviewer asked. Thirty years later
I still don't know. Today
a sixteen-year-old girl said
she'd like to be
just like me as I pushed
her third course
of chemotherapy.

Copyright © 2006 by Marc J. Straus. Published 2006 by TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press. All rights reserved.