Why Married Men Live Longer

Psychiatric Times, Vol 38, Issue 8,

"She takes them gently from my hands, scrunches her brow, studies their loneliness..."

POETRY OF THE TIMES

In developing transactive memory systems, couples become capable of “cognitive feats” beyond that of a single individual. 

-BS Brilliant

After washing and drying the darks,

I’m left with a pair of unmatched socks,

one pure black, the other almost identical

but decorated with two white stripes

like fog lines marking a road across the toes.

I search the washer for their twins,

spin the dryer bin, hunt the bedroom path

where I’ve hauled laundry for decades,

my wife in bed, eyes locked on her iPad.

I hold up the socks, limp as a mutt’s ears,

and ask her to help me find their mates.

She takes them gently from my hands,

scrunches her brow, studies their loneliness,

catching my eye a moment later when

she smiles and turns one inside out.

Dr Berlin has been writing a poem about his experience of being a doctor every month for the past 23 years in Psychiatric TimesTM in a column called “Poetry of the Times.” He is instructor in psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA. ❒