A Playful Poem About What’s Inside



(*Auscultation” is diagnosis by listening to the sounds within the body)

Listen, if you want to know the state of me,
what’s going on beneath my mottled skin:
there’s more than a heartbeat
between me and death – but start with the heart.

She beats too fast for her own good,
propelled by fantasy and fear —
a hero’s feat — those years, well worth a Purple Heart —
and a doctor’s warning.
Speak her name, she meets the brain –
but left to herself, she runs just fine.

Deeper now, spelunking through the caverns
of my gastric Amazon. Listen,
you can hear the sounds
of stealth….. Don’t look. (Like touring a hot dog factory,
it’s best if you can’t see.) Down here, they deal with everything, and it’s Essential Work, even if the end result
gets dumped.

No cameras or recorders to be used at this next site.
This space designed for Rapid Growth was never used.
A moment of silence, please –
to honor the unknown.

Move on, turn left or right, then straight
down threadbare pathways to the knees.
Down here, you hear the gripes and grinding
of the gears, threatening to quit before their gig Is up.
(There’s nothing to be done for it, says Management,
unless we call Replacements in.)

A quick jog to the feet, still itching to move on: these darlings
bear the brunt of everything, but you don’t hear them gripe!
They live to be elsewhere, and they’d always rather walk than take the car.
(“You’re only as young as your feet!” they squeal.)

A swift ascent, and we’ll finish our tour at Headquarters,
site of our Executive Operations. Here, you can talk all you please,
take as many pictures as you want — no one minds. Minions
will be working here till kingdom comes –
the noise can be quite stunning.

But at night they play exquisite retrospectives,
and you never know what brilliant fabrications
they’ll replay as Truth.

Enjoy your stay.

4 replies »

  1. Gee Marilyn you have a very unique writing style. As if you are observing yourself from a distance, as a narrator to your own life, observer to your own body, without embellishment or pretense, just as you are. Originality keeps the reader hooked! We can sense how writing light verses helped you deal with life’s confusion and the weighty matters you were facing. You call me higher as a poet/writer, in seeing how much further I would have to go to be this authentic…


  2. Marilyn, I came to your site this morning for something thought provoking and found this poem. It made me laugh. Thank you.


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