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Poetry by Christina McKee 




© 2008 Christina McKee






Pancreatitis: 2005 (4)


Consider the inflammation - a swelling

that cannot be seen -

and the unreality of digestive

enzymes (allow them into your vocabulary),

and you will think

            of how you ate a

            worm when you were four and fat.


Prepare for scans and learn abbreviations.

Wonder where

                        your      C  A  T  is.

Then there are


The check-ups while you're asleep and

the shadowed pictures of your insides.

(Privacy is a word only for puberty).


Welcome yourself to a medical journal

(a shining Nobel Prize for your organs).


Med students love (your blood,

                              your organs,

                              the sound of cutting you open)

the cracks and corners and

spider webs of your cells.


Your life (was doomed from the start) will be

about numbers, terms, charts,

small talk about blood clots,

and the      calming        quality of white coats until 


a blunt doctor tells you about cancer. 

Stare him straight in the stethoscope,

but keep your mouth shut.









All work is property of Christina McKee.




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