The Appointment

There was a woman ahead of me at the doctor's reception who had come in from many miles away, only to discover, after a terrible morning, that she had come on the wrong day.

It was early this morning, I was still in my bed,
The canary went "eek" and fell off its perch, dead.
Our dog may have rabies, he's snarling, poor pet,
Had I time I'd have taken him straight to the vet.
Our son woke up sickly, all covered in bumps,
I had to rush out, but I think its the mumps.
My husband, in terror, when this was discovered
Announced he’d return when the boy had recovered.
To cap these events on a typical morning,
The oak in the garden fell down without warning,
And, striking the house with a ominous boom,
Demolished our re-modeled visitor's room.

So I thought "Should I stay and put on extra ointment?"
But it's terribly hard to get an appointment.
So ignoring the rain and the roof that was leaking
The child, out of character, pale and un-speaking;
The dog in the outhouse, his mouth flecked with foam,
I thought, "Just an hour. They'll be all right at home."

The traffic was awful, I didn't get far
Before someone smashed up the back of my car.
The light had gone green; I paused, and he started.
I was beginning to feel just a trifle down-hearted.

I took this time off for the doctor today.
The boss on the telephone said "Yeah, O.K"
You could sense his displeasure, it isn't good news,
But it's not, like, I told him I'm off on a cruise.
It's just half a day, he shouldn't complain.
I'll do the job better without all this pain.

But now I am here, only ten minutes late.
I need to get home, so I hope there's no wait.
Excuse me! Hold on now, just what do you mean?
We agreed the appointment for June seventeen.
Look! Here in my diary,“the doctor at ten”.
It was you who suggested this Tuesday, and when
Oh Heavens! I messed up! Well, what can I say?
I should have come here on the same date in May?
And this isn’t Tuesday, it's Wednesday all day?
I missed the appointment and now have to pay?
I've made a decision. To hell with this pain.
Forget the arthritis, the problem’s the brain.
I need a referral, my mind's on the blink.
Do you know of a notable, competent shrink?

November 2003