“Medi-Maze” by Eric Chiles

Eric Chiles


Everyone gets enrolled in Part A,
that’s the easy part of turning sixty-five.
It’s choosing Parts B, C, and D that dismays.

You thought retirement meant easy days?
But you need a supplemental plan to survive
even though everyone gets Part A.

Consider carefully the donut hole and copays.
I’d rather watch grandkids. When do they arrive?
(Warning: Choose Part B without delay.)

It’s enough to make your gray get gray.
Parts F, G, K, L, M, and N? Man alive!
At least you’re enrolled in Part A

because that’ll pay for your hospital stay.
Insurers and bureaucrats sure connive
to make choosing all those parts a maze.

Cheer up. Next year it will all replay
in October with more confusing jive.
Don’t worry, everyone gets Part A.
Choosing Parts B, C, D, et al. will dismay.

from Rattle #57, Fall 2017
Tribute to Rust Belt Poets


Eric Chiles: “I’m as Pennsylvanian as scrapple, soft pretzels, and pierogis, and have spent my entire life in the Rust Belt—college at Penn State, grad school at Indiana University—and I’ve seen Bethlehem Steel employ tens of thousands and then crumble. The Lehigh Valley is the geographic center of the Megalopolis, and is the keyhole of the Keystone State. Today our cornfields sprout mile-long freight warehouses because much of what goes north, south, east, or west funnels through here.”

Rattle Logo