Years ago, when I still believedDr. Kildare could cure my father,I stayed awake past my bedtimeto learn to be a doctor.
Years ago, when I still believed
Dr. Kildare could cure my father,
I stayed awake past my bedtime
to learn to be a doctor.
Now I only remember
Kildare falling in love
with his patient,
a beautiful earth goddess
played by Yvette Mimieux,
her character dying,
Kildare unable to find a cure,
even with the wisdom
of his omnipotent Chief.
I didn't learn how to treat my father
in that episode,
but I memorized "The Tyger,"
which Kildare and his patient recited
before each commercial.
At the end, Kildare crying,
Yvette receding into the mist,
the camera closes in on her lips
whispering "Tyger! Tyger! burning bright "
My father dies a few years later.
No one recited poetry
when they called a code
and cracked his body.
And I grew up and became a doctor,
even married one as beautiful as Yvette.
But Medicine hasn't made me handsome
like Kildare, and patients don't recite Blake,
though there has been a kind of poetry
that flutters like TV screens in the fifties,
all the images in shades of gray.