Saturday, September 17, 2011

Poem: Thank you, Dr. Larkin


Thank you, Dr. Larkin

Dr. Larkin
Dr. Larkin
Thank you, Dr. Larkin.

I sing your high praise
from Hoboken
to Interlochen.

O Coshochton, OH,
Have you heard of
Dr. Larkin?

He rescued my boy
who was bruised,
bumped and broken,
stitched him up fine
like a mama I reckon,

straightened the jaw,
set his teeth back to sparklin’,
called a friend, paid the bill
that was big enough to park in.

Hearken, hearken
all ye for Dr. Larkin,
a mender who’s there
but unknown and unspoken.

Is that your brother
building cars in Detroit, all stark in
the litter blowing back on itself, over
drunk homeless men, alive but unwoken?

You are me, Dr. Larkin,
mama, builder and poet,
you attend to our boys
from Hamtramck to Khanaqin.

Thank you, thank you,
thank you,
Dr. Larkin.

Notes: The doctor who helped our son last week was named Dr. Larkin. MediCal picked up the entire bill, including followup visits and coverage of the year ahead. Hoboken is an island city in the Hudson River in New Jersey, Interlochen is a Michigan town with a music camp, and Coshocton is a canal town in Ohio. Hamtramck (pronounced Ham-tram-ick) is a Polish town that sits in the middle of Detroit and has a General Motors auto plant where they make the new electric Volt. Khanaqin is a river city in Iraq, considered the symbolic center of Kurdish identity.

Painting: Jean-Francois Millet's “The Good Samaritan”


George said...

First, Ruth, I'm delighted to know that everything has gone so well for Peter and your family in dealing with this unfortunate accident. As for Dr. Larkin, we obviously need more doctors like him in this country. I suspect your poem will find its way into a frame and be treasured by Dr. Larkin for the remainder of his days, always reminding him of why he probably entered medicine in the first place. Well done! I'm always humbled to see gratitude in action.

Elisabeth said...

I know nothing about your son's accident but from George's comment it's good to read that all is well. And this is such a lovely thank you to a doctor who takes his hippocratic oath to heart. Thanks, Ruth.

Grandmother said...

Before retirement I was a nurse for 36 years. It warms my heart that Dr. Larkin cared for your son so well and that you honored him with such a great poem. Kudos to you both and blessings on Peter.

Jeanie said...

This is such a great post, Ruth -- clever, but oh, so heartfelt. Three cheers to Dr. Larkin -- I'm glad there was a caring and skilled doctor ready to tackle the challenge!

Expat From Hell said...

Brilliant. Wasn't sure if I was reading Dr. Seuss or Mark Twain when I first glanced at this. What a great way to encapsulate a fearful story. EFH

Friko said...

All's well that ends well.

This tale might have been in praise of an NHS patient and doctor. I'm glad to hear that it VAN happen in the US as well.

Well done all concerned.

hedgewitch said...

I say he knocks off at least fifty bucks for this poem. ;_) Charming, Ruth and I love the elation of maternal relief that pushes the pen through its hoops of celebratory geographic rhyme. So glad everything worked out well for your son--(other than the thing happening in the first place.)

JeannetteLS said...

I love this. Just love it. And maybe it's the place to say I have had a Dr. Larkin.

Dr. Delorme did my 4th-8th back operations. He saved my life. I had very bad insurance, that left $20,000 of his bill unpaid. When I got disability the first time, I made a payment of $3000 to him, when I still owed him $16000. He sent me a card that said, "To my miracle, who still dances, let alone walks. Your bill is paid in full. Just the thought of you makes me know that my work mattered."

He passed away a year later, but I hope your followers each have a Dr. Larkin they can celebrate when they read your wonderful blog entry. Thank you for making me remember my own!

amy@ Souldipper said...

Your grateful heart is such a great light for me. Imagine how Dr. Larkin will feel...

shoreacres said...

Your bubbling-over poem is a delight - I can almost see you tripping down the sidewalk, hands in the air, jubilant!

Dr. Larkins abound, skilled in their various fields and creative in running their businesses - how else could I, in my penniless days, have traded varnish work for a hysterectomy? ;-)

ds said...

Oh, clever! Yes, THANK YOU, Dr. Larkin and all of your ilk, who daily, quietly do the things that matter.

Thank you, Ruth, for your joy--it's infectious :D

Ruth said...

Dear George, thank you for sharing our joy over Peter's very good outcomes. It seems this doctor truly went above and beyond his call, assuring that not only Peter's medical needs would be taken care of.

Ruth said...

Hi, Elisabeth! It was a frightening thing when Peter fainted last week, falling and breaking his jaw. We still don't know why he fainted, but it was likely from dehydration and the heat. Thanks for reading and for your kind comment.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Mary. It must be tough hearing all the complaints about our health care system in the U.S. while you are there in Italy. So much is wrong, but then something like this happens, and we feel our fortune. Thank you for your 36 years of nursing, a monumental accomplishment in a difficult job.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Jeanie, we are most fortunate. And I will never forget your good fortune when Rick was saved by EMS who happened to be within minutes of him, fallen on his bike in the middle of the countryside.

Ruth said...

Thanks a lot, Expat. It does have that Dr. Seuss cadence and rhyme. I was swept up in the phrase Thank you, Dr. Larkin nearly every quiet moment this past week, and it just had to be written!

Ruth said...

Friko, this story comes just when there are many in this country fighting universal coverage, as you no doubt hear in the UK. So it makes the blessing all the greater, and more ironic. (It also explains a little why California is broke.) Thanks for your amen.

Ruth said...

Hedge, can you see me dancing while I recite it? Thank you so much for sharing our relief and gladness after our awful fright.

Ruth said...

Hi, Jeannette, thank you for your tremendous comment. I'm thrilled you had a Dr. Larkin [Delorme] who saved your life, wanting you to dance. These are the health care stories we need to hear and celebrate, while we simultaneously push for health care reform.

Ruth said...

Amy, I had to shout it. Thanks for listening.

Ruth said...

Yes, Linda, dancing and tripping along, so relieved and happy, after fear gripped my heart.

Oh I love the glimpse of your story of a medical service traded for a boat varnish! :D

Ruth said...

ds, the joy multiplies knowing you share it! Bless these quiet partners who watch over our children!

erin said...

i think it must have been much more serious than i considered and so i reprimand myself for this, this not realizing. and so yes, you cheeky woman, thank you a hundred times over for dr. larkin.



Ruth said...

erin, it felt that way for a bit, yes, we went low and high and low and high for a week, so frightening with him far away. :(

But so good now! And relief is a wonderful thing, even if you have to go through the dark to get to it.

missing moments said...

This was so much fun ... with the Suess style verse ... Dr. Larki must indeed be something to warrant your words!

Oliag said...

This is a very happy mama poem...and I would love to rejoice and thank Dr Larkin with you:). It also makes me stop and think that CA medical coverage must be so very good...shouldn't everyone in the US expect that?

Ginnie said...

I'd love to know more of the full story, Ruth, about Dr. Larkin. I wonder if any money came out of his own pocket, for instance, because of the band?? In the meantime, I hope he'll get a copy of this poem!

Stratoz said...

love the tone of the voice found in this poem.

Margaret said...

Oh, this is ingenious! So fun and flowing and sentimental. Loved the line... stitched him up fine
like a mama I reckon,

... Will almost went to Interlochen - but then we moved.

Susan said...

I love it; whimsical, yet truly heartfelt. There is also an Interlachen in Florida, near where my sister lives. The natives pronounce it Inter-larken.