The Beverely Hillbillies at Beth Israel
to Kenneth Koch
Jethro’s in intensive care and Ellie Mae is frantic—
Granny secretly pleased it isn’t she
while the intercom keeps paging “Jed Clampett.”
In the next bed over, a poet rests
after the beat had abandoned his heart,
separated from the ragged bunch by just a curtain.
The poet drifts in and out of consciousness;
there’s no guarantee he’ll make it.
It seems as though his reality has slowed
to the pace of reruns on TV,
the only distinction between episodes:
the first shows are in black and white, the later ones in color.
Yet all is situational comedy.
YOUNG DOCTOR flirts with Ellie Mae,
using a prescription pad to give her his number.
Ms. Hathaway brings a horse collar bouquet
stolen from a local derby.
The flowers spell in rose and red
“Congratulations Sir Galahad.”
She also brings a form for the dying hick to sign
that will give the bank his fortune.
But the joke is he’s not really sick.
He just has indigestion.