Author's Note: This was originally published in the fanzine I Ain't No Doctor, from Neon RainBow Press. I apologize for its being free verse -- I prefer meter, rhythm, and rhyme myself -- but this is the way Nathan Jackson dictated to me.
I Ain't No Doctor
by Susan M. M.
I ain't no doctor,
Never said I was.
Just patching wounds and poulticing
'Cuz healing calls me,
The way cards call to Ezra
Or pretty girls to Buck.
Can't do much –
Just splint and set broken bones,
Stitch up cuts,
Put liniment on bruises,
Brew willowbark tea,
Say a prayer,
And bandage 'em up as best I can.
Got me a dream, a foolish dream.
To be a real doctor:
So's I could save the ones I bury now,
So I'd have more in my kit
Than whiskey and wishes and willowbark tea,
So I could heal the sick,
Not just dig out bullets and knife cuts.
Ain't gonna happen.
I was man-tall afore I learned to read.
I'd never be able to suss out
Even if I could afford medical school,
Which I can't.
I ain't no doctor – ain't never gonna be.