The Son of My Lonely Father’s Son

My son walks alone on a vast plaza of marble and stone

My boy is a slight man among mighty pillars

He walks over solid marble and I see him aging

Sometime soon he’ll be as old as the father I once loved and it warms my heart as much as breaks it

I watch from afar, on the set of a neoclassical painting

Pillars of permanence drawn from antiquity

Like David’s Brutus, I lament the tragedy

The emotional toll of sacrifice

I remind myself: I didn’t kill him

I’ve set him free—for the greater good



References: 1)


Crayola Confessions: Part II

Recently, on National Crayon Day, Crayola announced the official retirement of the “Dandelion” crayon. Other colors haunt me enough to deserve retirement as well: 1)Tumbleweed: Tumbleweed was a prop I remembered from westerns and old TV shows—not a color. As an arrogant Northeasterner I denied its existence until I finally drove through the California… Continue Reading

Cupid’s Arrow: Love Your Heart Month

“February is American Heart Month,” an exsanguinating man tells me while we’re standing on line in the ER. “You’ve got to respect your heart.” Two arrows stick out of his chest with a gurgling sound when he breaths. He soaks up the blood in a towel underneath. “Are you okay?” I ask. “There’s a hole… Continue Reading

The Distillation of Dad

Years before he began to wither and weaken from Parkinsonism, my father told me that after he started working as a chemical engineer, he went to law school for a semester at night. “I thought I might want to become a lawyer,” he said and described his class on contracts and how he began to… Continue Reading

Ghosts on a Path

There was a time when I drove to work or did something more daring like skiing down a mountain, I always saw my parents on either side of me–hovering, maybe floating at shoulder level, nodding their silent approval. They glanced at one another and back down over my shoulders to observe and silently ask one… Continue Reading

A Purple Heart

Sunny, wake up from your coma. Let me oxygenate your purple heart. Sunny, be brave.   I’m leaving the ICU for a few minutes. Just long enough to obtain the nourishment I know you need. Sunny, forgive me for being selfish.   I gouge the straw into a container to suck up some soy milk.… Continue Reading

Dissing The Chairman

I found this paper tucked into my copy of “Notes From A Chairmen.” You may not realize it, but this book is our bible. I suspect this is the work of a young house officer, a medical resident at our institution. He also was a patient and obviously has some very serious psychological issues. He’s… Continue Reading