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Brought to you by the students of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

Benjamin Cox


daddy strollers you into rehab

      like he’s being punished;

eight year olds should run and play –

      first born son’s a vegetable.


pretty PT girls rubber band your

      [arms] and [legs]to a metal cage

and try to sqeeeeeeze out movement

      like torturers seeking confession.


your only words are

straining stare,


dog-like panting

from pumping

puny, atrophied muscles

to the t-a-u-t--b-a-n-d’s plastic twinge.


you stop.  

             catch breath.  

                                 eye me in corner.

                                                           make goofy grin at me,

                                                           because you and I are the only boys

                                                           in a room full of girls we both know

                                                           have cooties.


I watch them unhook your useless limbs,

waddle you back to the wheelchair.


I wonder which cardinal sin

you or anyone else could have committed

to earn the pine tree that fell on your head,

crushing your skull,

while you rode your first bicycle.


I wonder, then I wheel you to the waiting room.


Shadowing at Neuro Rehab

Copyright © 2013 Mentis

About the author:


Ben is a first year med student who once contracted cooties at MEDVOUC.


About the artwork:


"Skeleton Study 1" is charcoal and chalk on newsprint and was drawn by second year med student Allison Ng.