Paula Harris

Takahe59

a lesson in good doctoring

a good doctor
doesn't need
neatly pressed work clothes
a big desk
a wall of degrees
a stethoscope around their neck
or to get you
in and out
in ten minutes or less

a good doctor
can be wearing pyjamas
offer heavy doses of reassurance
then sit on the couch with you
share cups of milo
and bowls of ice cream
and doesn't notice the time

so this is to say
thanks
(a pathetically small fee)
to Kirsten
who is a great doctor
and a better friend

and wears exactly
the type of pyjamas
I thought she would

First published in takahē 59 (2006)

Paula Harris

About Paula

Paula Harris lives in New Zealand, where she writes and sleeps a lot, because that's what depression makes you do. She won the 2018 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize and the 2017 Lilian Ida Smith Award.

Her poetry has been published in various journals, including Berfrois, Queen Mob's Teahouse, Barren, SWWIM, Glass, Diode, The Spinoff, Poetry New Zealand Yearbook and Landfall. Her essays have been published in The Spinoff and Headlands: New Stories of Anxiety (Victoria University Press).

She is extremely fond of dark chocolate, shoes and hoarding fabric.