On Being a Doctor

Is a doctor a healer, a confidante, a priest or rabbi, a turner of textbook pages, or a combination of all?


I will say healer, priest,
turner of textbook pages,
searcher, listener, arrogant crow
costumed in white, reflecting moon.
My name is scared and foolish
and sometimes too tired to care.
I am death's reluctant lover,
a child's guide, mother, father,
hero and fool,
and if you like it simple,
doctor will do.

Dr Berlin is Instructor in Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester.