Lay Down Sally

Psychiatric TimesPsychiatric Times Vol 19 No 1
Volume 19
Issue 1

I've known him since my first days as a doctor,and now he wants to quit.

Dying on dialysis
I've known him
since my first days as a doctor,

and now he wants to quit.
I've been called
to write the sentence

that says he understands
the meaning of "no."
Seated on the corner of his bed,

I test him with questions
until Eric Clapton comes on the radio
picking "Lay Down Sally,"

and I drift off, thinking
this is one more riff I'll never master.
Though my white coat touches his gown,

he sees I'm gone and calls me back:
Remember when Clapton was God?
And we're in the days of Blind Faith,

comparing calluses on our fingertips
hardened from playing "Layla,"
and we agree dying is easier

than learning guitar. Yeah, he laughs,
you don't even need to practice.
We talk music as he fades,

his breathing soft as a gentle strum.
A nurse hangs morphine.
I write my blue notes.

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