“To My Patients” by Dan Masterson


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Please do not call me at home
or expect me to drive to yours
at any time of day or night.

When you sit here in my office,
please do not smoke or tear
items from my magazines.

Neither talk to my receptionist
nor whistle, hum, stomp or tap
to the piped-in music.

When your name is called, move
quickly to the appointed room;
do just as you are told.

When I enter, be prompt about
any complaint you may have; do
not attempt to amuse me.

Listen to what I have to say
so I need not repeat myself;
then dress, taking all belongings.

Please stop at the desk and pay
your total bill in cash; checks
are not welcome here;

But you are.
I hope you are feeling better;
come again when you are not.



Dan Masterson was elected, in 1986, to membership in Pen International in recognition of his first two volumes of verse: ON EARTH AS IT IS, and THOSE WHO TRESPASS. WORLD WITHOUT END was published in 1991 by The University of Arkansas Press. ALL THINGS, SEEN AND UNSEEN, the poet’s volume of new and selected poems, was also published by The University of Arkansas Press, in 1997.