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Poetry and Medicine
January 23, 2008

Minimally Invasive

JAMA. 2008;299(3):258. doi:10.1001/jama.2007.29

Port wine, the red that rises
From the wound once trochar is removed.
Blot away and cauterize
Skin edges, then bring close to hide
The scar with monofilament. This port
A tiny window, the rabbit hole
We plumbed to search for silent sickness
In the belly. A fatty curtain hid
The chronic worry. We pushed aside
The mesentery, slid all good guts
To quiet corners, then eyed the fiend.
Divided with staples above, below.
Ligated vessels with sharp, hot sound.
Then out with death through another
Hole, smaller than my hand. I tense
On clamps that clench, and pull,
“Specimen,” I call, and it is done.
More stapling, then it’s
Monocryl for everyone.