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Doctors

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Written by Anne Sexton

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 They work with herbs
and penicillin
They work with gentleness
and the scalpel.
They dig out the cancer, close an incision and say a prayer to the poverty of the skin.
They are not Gods though they would like to be; they are only a human trying to fix up a human.
Many humans die.
They die like the tender, palpitating berries in November.
But all along the doctors remember: First do no harm.
They would kiss if it would heal.
It would not heal.
If the doctors cure then the sun sees it.
If the doctors kill then the earth hides it.
The doctors should fear arrogance more than cardiac arrest.
If they are too proud, and some are, then they leave home on horseback but God returns them on foot.


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