I saw a doctor scrambling up his ladder
Unsure just how to act
Or react to the challenge
Of a peer and colleague in transition
Yet still in high regard
Teetering just up above
Debating when to leave
And turn his tools to others coming up
Leaving room – yes—but space perhaps that won’t be filled
As doctors to the city flock
Where people are, and arts, careers, and possibilities
More global in their scope.

And yet mistakes are mounting and what if
Some day I'm not there
To cover for the slip
That may not loose his footing
But in the balancing out of things
Lets drop the care of duty –

Cover, care, career, confusion –
Maybe one more time –
Maybe the slip will come
On someone else’s watch
And I’ll be left alone
To climb and care and wonder
If I’ll have the grace to leave
The bucket still half-full
And trim unpainted
Skill undiminished,
With care of duty still intact.