Impatient Patient: Poem

Alysa Cummings
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: October 4, 2009

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Impatient Patient
by Alysa Cummings

(for Julia Darling, in appreciation)

Impatient Patient by Alysa Cummings

Such an impatient patient...
I’m waiting for
gas to pass,
stitches to dissolve,
and visiting nurses
to knock
on my front door.

One week post-op
I’m waiting for
path reports
(good news, please),
permission to drive
and stacks of get well cards
in my mailbox.


Slow torture
mending day by day,
(heal me, free me),
weary me - waiting for
my “new normal”
to appear
(whatever the hell that means...).

The surgeon counsels patience;
Take six weeks or so:
(sooner, I beg, faster, I say).
impatient patient
I’m sick and tired
of recovery.


Give me
my strength,
my health,
my energy back!
impatient patient
I might just as well ask
seeds to grow,
buds to burst
and flowers to bloom
on my command.

Digital images taken by Alysa Cummings

Read Impatient Patient Quotations Collected by Alysa Cummings

Impatient Patient [Flash Video]


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