Volume 28, Number 3


You know what they say about bedpans
—rolling on down production lines,
injection-molded, robot-inspected,
identical thousands every day, stackable
plastic, boxed and bar-coded, expedited
for priority shipment:

The engineer says
Quality design is our promise to you.
The ad-man says
From our family to yours.
The hospital owner says
The best in personal care.

As for me,
the days before my father died
I’d pour his urine down the hospital toilet.
Later the itemized bill arrived.
Line 143 said:
Male bedpan with low spill adaptor: $289.

A one-liter plastic jug, with cap.
Our promise to you
From our family to yours
The best in personal care

You know what they say about bedpans.

—Mark Zimmermann