Poem 229 ± January 19, 2016

Laurel Ferretti
Joe Doe

For J.J.

None have known Joe Doe, MD.
GRID’s grip drew him into its obscurities.
Dr. Doe met his interest, chasing its mutable manifestations.

In command of the hundred,
the centurion’s bravado charged into battle
at the prospect of valiance.
Yet mere man
found it elongated into an engagement
of lifetimes.

The one hundred’s first attempt—to eradicate the scourge—
mangled in defeat.
Burial of the century.
The centurion’s manner dashed among the hopes
of his fallen

Dr. Doe’s sworn loyalty endures,
while his distance finds everyone anonymous.
The phantasms plagued,
his hair.
Covered in a shirt and tie,
shadows keep him unkempt.

Behold the visage.

The one-hundredth leans
against the waiting room wall,
affixed among the polished pine.
You’re more than those thousand words.
You’re more than a feather of the quill that activated his certificate.
You’re more than a body, examined—upon a hardened, uncompassionate slab.
You’re more than the sum of your symptoms + side effects.
You’re more than the ignorance
in masked nurses’ eyes.

You are more.

Laurel FerrettiLaurel Ferretti is an undergraduate at George Mason University, studying English with a Creative Writing concentration. She is particularly interested in utilizing poetry to process the psychology, emotion, and trauma of illness and pain. This poem is dedicated to the physician who treated Laurel for a severe form of chronic Lyme disease. He entered the world of infectious disease when HIV/AIDS was still mysterious. His first one hundred patients quickly died, which has affected the way he interacts with his current patients. “He is the only physician who did not give up on me; I am so grateful for his perseverance and innovative mind.”
This poem is not previously published.