Ode to Healing – Part One

John Updike

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A scab
is a beautiful thing — a coin
the body has minted, with an invisible motto:
In God We Trust.
Our body loves us,
and, even while the spirit drifts dreaming,
works at mending the damage that we do.
That heedless Ahab the conscientious mind
drives our thin-skinned hull onto the shoals;
a million brilliant microscopic engineers below
shore up the wound with platelets,
lay down the hardening threads of fibrin,
send in the lymphocytes, and supervise
those cheery swabs, the macrophages, in their clean-up.
Break a bone, and fibroblasts
knit together the blastema in days.
Catch a cold, and the fervid armies
swarm to blanket our discomfort in sleep.
For all these centuries of fairy tails poor men
butchered each other in the name of cure,
not knowing an iota of what the mute brute of body knew.

— Continued —

For further reading:
Updike The Jew

 


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4 thoughts on “Ode to Healing – Part One

  1. Yes indeed! We are wonderfully and fearfully made. I haven’t been able to access your last few posts – don’t know why. I got e-mail notification but then WordPress said there was nothing there. So glad to see you are back and still wielding the (metaphorical) pen that is mightier than your circumstances. Sending you and Mrs TD a big hug.

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