Dale Fell

on healthcare in America

Twenty-four stitches cast on,
that should be enough
Six others wait their round
on the variety show
Drones in love 
with glow screens

Three wild cards shuffle in, 
late to their meeting
The counselor fills them
up to boiling, while lisps
recite anything except 

Fingers find a latent, but natural
rhythm, stowed away patterns
of an unlocked hope chest
Frog and cast on twenty-eight 
My roll for the plank, 2nd door
on the left

Heart hasn’t quit, lungs inflate
their way into public speaking
Self-diagnosis saves a bit 
on the way out, two vials
and a smile, poked vessel walls
new clots

More questions than answers
The system confuses providers
into researchers, looking to us
as sage lab rats, wondering if 
care received levels us to view
the same blank frame

Hippocratic Oath 
once observed, gone missing 
without fee or indenture, 
another dropped stitch 
to do no harm