Friday, December 18, 2009

A Visit to the Free Clinic (The Night Before Christmas)

This delightful poem about the Fauquier Free Clinic was written by Larry Stillwell, a volunteer receptionist and financial screener at the clinic. The Fauquier Free Clinic is supported by Fauquier Health and by the Fauquier community.


'Twas the Night Before Christmas


‘Twas the night before Christmas and at the Free Clinic,

No one could complain, not even a cynic.

The needles and meds were stored with great care,

And the staff and volunteers had all disappeared;

The patients had emptied the calm waiting room

Where the radio played an old Christmas tune.

And Rob with his whiteboard was doing his best

To close up for Christmas while the staff got their rest.

But there at the window, a new patient stood,

Waiting with patience like a good patient should.

“I’m sorry, we’re closed,” Rob began to explain,

But the man interrupted: “Dear sir, I’m in pain!

I have no appointment, no money, no hope.

Can’t I please see a doctor? Can’t you throw me a rope?”

So what could Rob do, how could he say no

To a bedraggled Santa with reindeer in tow?



Santa looked unhealthy and obviously sick:

Rob knew in a moment he’d need help real quick.

Santa’s symptoms were many; as he called out his list

Rob thought it a wonder he could even exist!

“I’m hungry and thirsty and worn to my bone,

I’m arthritic and crippled – and I could use a small loan!

My heart is a mess, my B.P. is sky high;

If I don’t see a doctor, I’m going to die!”

As dry heaves shook his body he uttered a yelp

And shook like red Jell-O as Rob phoned for help.

“Come, doctors! Come, nurses! Come, each volunteer!

Come someone to care for Santa’s reindeer!”



He was dressed from a thrift store, this dodgy old coot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

He was way overweight, porky and meaty;

And the doctors could tell that he had diabetes.

He had melanoma and a rhythmic heart murmur

And what looked like the start of a cancerous tumor.

His nose it was bulbous and red as a cherry

And he tested allergic for gluten and dairy.



He spoke not a word, but his head gave a jerk;

Tom greeted him warmly and brought paperwork:

“Do you live in the county? Can you show us some proof?

What is your income? Please tell us the truth.

A letter of support would provide reassurance;

We’ll be glad to help if you don’t have insurance.”

Then the doctors made an astute diagnosis

And some meds from the pharmacy improved his prognosis.

The whole team pitched in and soon – Ho! Ho! Ho!

By midnight old Santa was now good to go.

He thanked everyone in both English and Spanish,

Then out the backdoor they all watched him vanish.

And they heard him exclaim in that voice people mimic,

“I’m forever grateful to the Fauquier Free Clinic!

So thank you, my friends, your clinic, it’s clear

Has saved Christmas for all, so Happy New Year!”



This story’s moral I need not belabor:

Like the folks at the clinic, take care of your neighbor!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fun to read. The author clearly put a lot of time, thought and love into this.
Merry Christmas!

Laura in Warrenton said...

This makes me delighted to live in this community, and to support the Free Clinic!!!

WONDERFUL lyrics - beautifully done!

Rich Marino said...

I hate to be a bother
But I am Rob's Father
He's lucky to have you so well observe
How the Clinic truly is there to just Serve

nancy beers said...

Very clever, Mr. Stillwell, as always!

Anonymous said...

larry,
that was a good one.
i thought it would never end...
& i didn't want it to ! ! !

thanks & Merry Christmas!!!
a nonny moose