Ode to the Injured

by Christina Kelly

You know the perpetually injured,
There's one in every group --
The player with sudden tendonitis
Or rare adult-onset croup.

She has every excuse in the book,
From sore bunions to a lazy colon,
And she won't even consider playing
If any of her glands feel swollen.

She calls at the last minute,
When we're already at the courts,
Her tonsils are a little tingly,
Her appendix feels out of sorts.

Her illnesses arrive spontaneously,
Her symptoms are usually vague,
But last month she made a rapid recovery
From a strain of the bubonic plague.

Our team believes its hysteria,
That she's being too melodramatic,
But she reminds us that tropical disorders
Can sometimes be asymptomatic.

"I'm off to see my doctor", she'll say,
"To get a booster vaccine,
To relieve my achy thyroid
And the spasm in my sensitive spleen."

Her knee has a cramp, her ankle's inflamed,
But she's trying to be courageous
And she only cancels our game, she says,
To save us if it's contagious.

"I know, I know it's late to call
And impossible to get a sub,
But what if I have walking malaria
And then I infect the club?"

"I've finished my last will and testament,
A list of all I've possessed,
To the team I leave my Viking paddles
And the trophy from our last member-guest."

A cough, a cramp, an ache, a rash,
A crick, a pang, a sore,
We've been through the medical dictionary
And heard it all before.

So the next time her name shows on Caller ID
I won't pick up the telephone receiver,
In case she's come down with a Volkswagen bug
Or a bad case of Saturday Night Fever.

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