My inconsistent pharmacist,
Administer that certain cure
That can relax my hardened fist
In doses sweet with taste impure.

O give me something for the pain,
My head thumps fast, my heart beats slow,
Or take a glance into my brain,
For only then you’ll really know

Just how infected is this mind
With thoughts of your scarce medicine,
But you’ve got patients still in line
Waiting, wailing, “Let us in!”

So discharge me from your ill care,
And I’ll to my own health redeem
A vital cordon sanitaire
That wakes me from my fever dream.



Edward “Ted” Quarterman is an aspiring writer from Atlanta, Georgia, and a student attending New York University.

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6 Responses

  1. Jeff Eardley

    Definitely “fevered dream” at the end.
    Should line 2 be “Administers?”
    Last verse line 1, could be better with “So please discharge me from your care”
    Enjoyable poem, thank you.

  2. Christopher Flint

    Many folks would likely prefer the adjective “feverish” (the second “e” is elided in the preferred pronunciation). You need “dream” for the rhyme, and I think it makes sense given the preceding context.

    “Administer” is correct in the imperative.

    I felt the meter set up the second pronunciation of “discharge”, with the first syllable accented, which is common emphasis in the imperative and allowed the clever use of “ill care” (which the meter and imperative also set up for the reader).

    I think it could stand as originally written, though some of the expression seems like it would not be familiar to a universal audience. If anything. I would change only “fevered dream” to “feverish dream”.

  3. Jeff Eardley

    Ted, Mr.Flint is right about discharge. I was reading it as an Englishman where we usually emphasise the second syllable. Sorry about that. Two nations divided by a common language, you bet.

  4. Caroline S.

    Other commenters are right—if you highlight the poem with your cursor, “dream” appears in white at the end (i.e. not visible). Could be an error in publishing? Lovely poem!


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