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Bilirubin

Some lawyers write poetry, some poets are sailors, some sailors were lawyers. Working in the laboratory, I was once struck by the lyrical sound to the words that described the substances in the gall bladder. To my ears, "bilirubin" sounded like the name of a jazz singer from the 1940's. When I remarked about the idea, everybody in the lab, strangely, agreed.

Listen to poem!


      Bilirubin sings the blues
      down low beneath the liver,
      through intertwining ducts
      where gallstones bump and grind
      to the rhythm of
      cholecystekinin chimes,

      the stomach bubbles percussion,
      and drops of bile play fiddle
      way down inside the ileum,

      Bilirubin sings the blues
      with lyrics known by heart
      feeling mesenteric rhythms,

      within the hidden viscera.
      Bili sings the blues
      on a stage set on epithelia,

      Bilirubin sings as gallstones frolic
      and cholesterol
      takes the credit,

      Bilirubin sings the blues
      down low beneath the liver,
      when Bili's finished singing
      the cells tinkle their goblets.

    Glen Wheeler
    Vancouver
 


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