Topics:pain, participation in ward rounds
ELEVEN is the score, more often than not,
That patients give their pain from one to ten.
They look at me with pity, fool that I am,
Each time I ask—A little or a lot ?—
As if they do not know where to begin,
Wondering if I even give a damn,
Another white coat filling out a chart
To file away or lose. Some laugh, some cry,
And some do both, unable to explain;
What number can we give the human heart,
Writhing in anguish, that can quantify
The sinister predicament of pain?