Spare me a doctor, who makes the mistake
Of telling me how, I must stop eating cake
Who hasn’t a hint of the apologetic
When he tells me at 90 I’m pre-diabetic
One who in truth is a silly old fool
Who’s not learnt a thing since at medical school
One who insists he must always keep trying
And solemnly swears that he’ll keep me from dying.

After W.H. Auden

And Auden’s original.

Give me a doctor partridge-plump
Short in the leg and broad in the rump
An endomorph with gentle hands
Who’ll never make absurd demands
That I abandon all my vices
Nor pull a long face in a crisis,
But with a twinkle in his eye
Will tell me that I have to die.

Picture is from Van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr. Gachet

To read, ‘A Pregnant Pause, click here

To read, ‘If’, click here

To read, ‘The Very Model of a General Practitioner’, click here