Guest Poet Richard Periut, M.D.

Dignified Death

Looking distant from my infirmary window,
I contemplate the opulent vivacity beneath me.

The society that I once belonged to,
expelled me to this vault.

A new associate have I, he looks but talks not.
He drools and soils his diapers like the babe he once was.

I pray for hope, deaf ears are there. No response.
Iím castigated at times, for the simplest of erratum.

One of my many healers has come by, pristinely dressed.
A salutation, a pat on the back, and off to his domain.

My agony still here. Relief is unspoken of. Capsules that can trouble
the healers, if they were to be bestowed.

I look through this window, life I do see.
I shall depart with dignity. I shall sign out AMA (against medical

Be not tormented with needles, be not drugged because of despair.

Be not income for the greedy and cold. Be not the harlequin for the

With dignity and a complacent smile, I await the grim harvester.
In the solace of my rose garden, I await the grim harvester.

October, 1998

Dr. Richard Periut's Questions:

Was the message clear? Did I use proper style and format?

What types of feelings did it stir to you?

Correspond with Richard Periut, M.D. at
with your ideas about this poem.

The Albany Poetry Workshop