The Surgeons Farewell

Flexing his strongly tapered fingers
Which had done a thousand operations
Brandy glass in hand
He spoke to colleagues gathered together
For his retirement

“Throughout my years of surgery
I have maintained an athletes’
Care for mind and body
Each day I have done
Finger exercises, just as a concert painist does,
Avoided excess in food and drink
But that regime is about to be retired as well

“I have seen the consequences of
Injury and personal abuse
Damaged bodies and scarred lives
Patched together by my skill and dexerity
But what has been achieved?”

“So now I am reversing my lifestyle
Now I shall devote myself to the truth of
The prophet Isaiah, who said
‘Eat and Drink: For tomorrow we die’
Naturally there will be consequences to this
Especially if I have a long life.”

Therefore I look forward to appearing
In one of your operating theatres
In a few years time
And as you rescue me from my folly
With your skills and precision
Recognising that it is futile
Remember that life has different phases
Chosing the manner of your death is
Only one of them.

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