A Minor Issue

Straus, Marc

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack
  • Date of entry: Jul-13-1996
  • Last revised: Sep-01-2006


A poem in a patient’s voice. He brings "a minor issue" to the doctor’s attention, something so trivial he ought not mention it. The doctor sees so many more important problems, like John Butler who "had a terrible / case of prostate cancer." He went downhill so quickly, unlike the patient’s mother who "died of old age / the way it should be, just pooped out . . . . " She didn’t have "the big C." In any case, the patient’s problem "probably / isn’t much of anything. Don’t you agree?"


A poem about fear, denial, grasping for hope. A complement to One Word (see this database)--the doctor’s word is an enormous absence in this poem, the word about to be spoken, already denied.

Primary Source

One Word


Northwestern Univ.: Triquarterly

Place Published

Evanston, Ill.