Narratives for Dummies

Sterling Haynes

Sterling Haynes

[Sterling Haynes is one of my favorite humorists. We went to the same talk on personal narratives, but his response was a poem. I asked if I could post it here.]

The time has come,
the octogenarian said to himself,
to write my own obituary.
Leave all that stuff to my kids?

My real self will emerge
with piece of mind and a clear list
of priorities, plus all in complicated legalese.
Please read the fine lines and then the finer print.

A living will, power-of attorney, a health
care directive, life and disability insurance,
my registered will and executrix along with that
elusive key to my bank safety deposit box.

Then follow with organ donation forms,
complicated health care directives,
bank managers, lawyers, morticians, cremation forms,
pin numbers, bank numbers and noms des plumes [“doctor ex”].

Who am I? what have I become?…
An eight digit social insurance number
with easy access to revenue canada [ press#1 for English] and my charitable donations – $ to go?

What will happen to my facebook?
who will be my friends in my darkest hour?
Will my twittering be 140 characters or fewer
in my personal arena, as my weaknesses are revealed.

Have I lived vicariously? Which canadian
celebrity have I adopted to represent
my ideals in the after world?  Mind boggling,
all these shenanigans just burns me up.

Please… just remove my hearing aids,
open the oven and roll me in,

sunny side up.

[See also Sterling Haynes’s poem, Momma Does Milk, on Catching Courage.]

Sterling Haynes has just launched his new book, Wake-Up Call: Tales from a Frontier Doctor.

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Momma Does Milk « Catching Courage – Cathryn Wellner - March 7, 2010

[…] [Story Route readers will recognize the name of one of my favorite writers. He's the author of "Narratives for Dummies" that appeared on that blog. What I didn't mention there is that Sterling had a forty-year career as […]

Thank You « Catching Courage – Cathryn Wellner - March 17, 2010

[…] You Sterling Haynes isn’t just one of my favorite writers. (See Narrative for Dummies and Momma Does Milk.) He also inspires other people to […]

Away « Crossroads – Cathryn Wellner - November 6, 2010

[…] If you’ve just now discovered Sterling Haynes, you’ll no doubt want to read more of his work. Read his gritty, humorous stories about life as a country doctor in Bloody Practice: Reflections on Doctoring Around the World and Wake-Up Call: Tales from a Frontier Doctor. Two more of his poems can be found on Catching Courage (Momma Does Milk) and Story Route (Narratives for Dummies). […]

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