My friend Jane Little was sent to the hospital
two days ago because she was not feeling well and was having trouble
standing up. This morning, a diagnosis has not yet been established. It
is Valentine’s Day, however, and I wanted to bring her a gift and a
This poem was written inside out. I began by
looking for rhymes for “hospital.” The first thing that came to mind was
from Mother Goose, “Hey diddle diddle.” This gave me the idea of using
nursery rhyme to supply the structure for the poem.
Having written the poem, I realized that other
words might be used to rhyme with “hospital.” It seemed that abandoning
the first line would remove the justification for the poem’s overall
structure. Nevertheless, I took advantage of a coincidence and offered
the following version of the poem to Jane:
Oh my, Jane Little,
You’re in the
And doctors don’t
know what’s wrong.
But they’ll poke
and measure and test and scan,
And soon make you
healthy and strong.
— LED, 2/14/2011