Following an Ancient Writer’s Reflection*
Etta, do you not care when I am ill?
Remember last week, when a pinched nerve
Kept me in bed for most of a day?
I could not walk,
I began to panic, and
Believed I might never be well again.
And your response, terrible, cold and unmoving,
Declaring what in my heart was apparent;
You told me that you had no aspirations,
That if I sought a Florence Nightingale,
I had barked up the wrong alley.
It hurt most, when after a moment’s reflection,
I came to believe your response sounded rehearsed.
It had a tone, which seemed practiced more than once.
Yet when I had fallen,
Became lost to pain in an otherwise robust frame,
And you had shown no worry, commiserated not a bit.
You had actually precluded concern.
Now that my health returns,
I must wonder whether,
If you ever cared for me at all.
*The inspiration for this poem was Suplicia's POEM 5. She was a woman poet of the 1st century CE, and, as usually is the case, little about her life and work has survived the ages.
quod mea nunc vexat corpora fessa calor?
A! ego non aliter tristes evincere morbos
optarim, quam te si quoque velle putem.
At mihi quid prosit morbos evincere, si tu
nostra potes lento pectore ferre mala?