Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Life savings

Daniel Moran
Webster, New Hampshire, United States



Aging is the bank
which accepts deposits,
and will not ever
give them back.
But it does have its
tiny catalogue of
compensations. I recall those
ancient days when
opening that account
might earn you a new
toaster or blender,
a set of steak knives.This week, after
finding out that the
the steamy apparition,
which has taken up
residence near the foul pole
in the left field of my vision,
is not a brain tumor,Has made me
oddly less concerned
about how much easier
it seems to be for me
to peer onto my scalp
through the last efforts of
what use to be a magnificent
head of wavy hair.Like the sharp January day
I lost my feet on the ice,
and knocked myself out cold,
after the nice young doctor
let me know that the brick walk
had not, in fact, cracked my
skull open like a walnut,

I felt a curious pleasure
in now knowing my dear wife
could get me to the doors
of the local Emergency Room
without killing us both
in a fiery car wreck. So this afternoon, watching
a great parade of cumulus clouds,
as the minutes click off unattended,
I am content in the knowledge
that I will probably not
die this week or the next.And accepting of the fact
that today’s aches will be
more tolerable today than
they will  be tomorrow,
one day I will place my
last nickel in the bank’s
cold and stingy metal slot.I will appeal to some burly nurse
in a flowered top to prop
up my pillow just a bit, and
comb back neatly the gathering
of my last remaining hairs.But alas, I now proclaim.
In this part of the known world,
it is a few good turns past five,
on a pleasing Friday afternoon.
I think I will softly push
the hair back over my head,
and mark the occasion
with a toast to my love
and to my good health.




DANIEL THOMAS MORAN, born in New York City in 1957, is the author of ten collections of poetry. His eleventh collection, “In the Kingdom of Autumn”, will be published by Salmon Poetry in Ireland in 2019. In 2005, he was appointed Poet Laureate by The Legislature of Suffolk County, New York. His collected papers are being archived by The Department of Special Collections at Stony Brook University. He is a retired Clinical Assistant Professor at Boston University’s School of Dental Medicine, where he delivered the Commencement Address in 2011. He is Arts Editor for The Humanist magazine in Washington, DC. He and his wife Karen live in Webster, New Hampshire.


Summer 2018  |  Sections  |  Poetry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.