Psychiatrists on the Subway - poems by doctors

Ron Charach

One rarely spots psychiatrists on the subway rubbing the haze of a long day's sessions from their lean temples, or thumbing through paperbacks that deal with anything-but. Wouldn't they like an update on who's In the world and how they're doing? Or would the ridership be wary of men and women whose briefcases rattle with the tic tac of pills, whose ears perk like armadillos' at conversations two seats over? More likely we locate them in a bad joke, in a wing-chair beside a firm couch, a suicide statistic, a product seminar with deli sandwiches courtesy of Pfizer or Roche or Eli Lilly; perhaps on the beach of a convention hotel with a panorama of thong-clad beauties who seldom talk revealingly Before bed a psychiatrist sets his ears on the night-table and prays for a night of long silence from a god who prefers to listen.

Ron Charach was born in Winnipeg, Canada. He studied medicine in Toronto and trained in psychiatry in New York. He has lived in Toronto since 1980. The two poems are from Selected Portraits. Hamilton, Wolsak & Wynn Publishers. Another of Charach's poems was published in the September 2008 issue of the Journal.

Poem selected by Femi Oyebode.