It is a truth universally mocked that a man will not go to his doctor
Even if his limbs are hanging off and his arteries are performing a full-on Manneken Pis.
It is understood that we’re too concerned about appearing macho
(Or whatever the tiresome term is)
To seek help, even as it becomes clear that the lump is not going away,
That the pain has settled in for the foreseeable,
That the extremity is really not supposed to be that colour.
So, when we do – when I did,
It is not helpful (and I’ve given this some thought)
For Dr Corduroy to listen to the symptoms,
Take the blood pressure (which is all he ever does), cursorily dismiss all concerns,
And tell me that, given my age (which is not excessive)
This is just how I feel now.
He’s determined, without the psychic abilities I’d demand for him to make such a diagnosis,
That the static backwash of Whatever the Hell This Is in my system
Is how it will be for me from now on.
But I know he can’t be right.
Because I’ve caught him in a lie.
This is not just how I feel.
If he wasn’t so quick to show me the door,
He’d get to hear the rest.
Mike Hickman (@MikeHicWriter) is a writer from York, England. He has written for Off the Rock Productions (stage and audio), including 2018’s “Not So Funny Now” about Groucho Marx and Erin Fleming. He has recently been published in EllipsisZine, Dwelling Literary, Bandit Fiction, Nymphs, Flash Fiction Magazine, Brown Bag, and Safe and Sound Press. His co-written, completed six-part BBC radio sit com remains frustratingly as unproduced as it was the last time he updated this biography. Maybe it would be better off as a children’s picture book?