Summer 1992 • Vol. XIV No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 1992 |

More Fire

I hate to see people being given a hard time. I must live in the wrong city, for while I wait to pay at the pharmacy I watch a young, sad-faced Hispanic woman—of gentle demeanor—sent back to Go: her prescription's out of date; she must have the doctor make it out again unless she wants to pay full price. I intervene. Why can't they call the doctor and not waste the rest of this woman's day? Because "Medicaid won't cover it unless it comes from the hospital's mouth." Of course no one's stopping her from paying the full amount ($22.50) . . . . "One every 6 hours" the label reads and I swear the stuff's called Coelred though I know that can't be right. What will happen if she misses her dosage? What if it isn't for her, but for her elderly mother sucking air in their basement apartment with a dumbwaiter for a window, dying of emphysema at this moment while they cavil, or for her child (you supply the gender) needing this life support now, not hours (you supply the number) from now.

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