Sick people flock to hospital for care,
Relief from pain and surgical repair.
But lurking in the space known as ‘The Gym’,
The physio devises treatments grim.
If she must work, her patients should as well:
No leniency shown for fainting spells.
And pain won’t kill you, yet she might agree
That several hundred squats could sting your knee.
She’ll have you do them anyway to spite,
Although she seems remarkably polite.
So when an operation on your gut
Is why your abdomen is widely cut,
She’ll make you huff and cough until you cry
And think that, frankly, you’d prefer to die.
She’ll exercise you till you beg for help.
Her mission is accomplished once you yelp.
No wonder inmates pray for discharge home
Before their panting mouths erupt with foam.
In case you think my tale a little wry…
A physio like me would never lie!
(This poem was a finalist in Yellow Moon’s Chaucerian Challenge in 2004. The brief was to write a modern version of the 14th century Canterbury Tales. I resubmitted the poem to another competition in 2010 and was placed last. The judge’s comment began, ‘This sad attempt at traditional rhymed verse needs some serious physio of its own…’)