It started with a band-aid that the hospital applied;
they charged a hundred dollars, and they wouldn't let it slide.
Then they gave me aspirin -- just two tablets, nothing more;
I should have fled in terror but I then got a cold sore.
They dabbed it with an ointment made of gold and platinum;
it cost more than the total of my annual income.
The bills came like an avalanche; they discomposed my nerves.
My body went to pieces, like a tray of dropped hors d'oeuvres.
I lost my job and couldn't pay a solitary dime.
The clinic had me cuffed and stuffed as if it were a crime.
The judge looked sympathetic as he sentenced me to jail.
"You're awful sick" he told me, "so there won't be any bail."
I languish here in prison, ulcerating but resigned
to being doctored in the clink by inmates who are kind.