A Poem about the Colon
by Ashley Davidoff MD Copyright 2016
I am the Colon
I have not captured the imagination of poets, artists, and historians.
Unlike my brothers and sisters the heart, liver, and the brain,
I am usually a subject that is avoided in cultured circles,
And commonly the butt of coarse jocularity in casual circles.
My contents are usually used as expletives of disgust and disagreement,
While my tail end is used in reference to the last and the least.
Let me tell you my story …..
I am the colon – they also call me the large bowel.
Some call me the “large howl” because of the noises that I make.
I do make noises – most of the time I sing a droning song while I go about my work,
Almost like a bass or double bass.
Sometimes I have to let off steam and then the wind instruments take charge,
With sounds that range from a piercing bleat to the beautiful alto furtive blurt.
When my contents are fluid I can tinkle along like a triangle in a percussion band.
Borborygmi they are called –quite a fancy name for a rather primitive sound.
Talking about music, I was surprised to read that Mozart took an interest in me.
His scatological letters are infamous, though admittedly his music is genius.
I am somewhat proud of his obsession for me.
So much for what people think or have thought. Let me give you my perspective.
My body is unique! No other structure in the body comes close.
With my taenia coli and rounded haustra I am adorned in appendices epiploica.
The three beautiful, graceful and gracile taenia run along the entire length of my body.
I really like these sleek muscles
So symmetrically positioned around my circumference.
They are always a tad tight, giving me my voluptuous bulges – the haustra.
I like those too.
They give me haughtiness and sometimes a naughtiness – those haughty naughty voluptuous haustra.
…and here it comes again: their fancy shmancy name: “appendices epiploica.”
I hate them! I don’t understand what function they play …
What in heaven’s name was God thinking when he put those fatty …things!… on my waist?
I detest them! Do you hear me? D-E-T-E-S-T!
They may have been the fashion in the time of Adam and Eve,
But God, please get with the times – they are way out of fashion.
Now all riled up I continue my rant and rave.
Chyme they call it!
Chyme my ass! (Oops, I should not have said that.)
They give it a fancy Latin name to make you think it is elegant.
What would you feel like if you were dealt the grime and sludge that I am dealt?
It is pure muck with all the good things removed – dirty slimy muck!
And this is only the beginning.
Wait for the obnoxious gas that those bacteria fellows produce.
It presses on my sides and makes the jowls of my bowels howl.
Talk about noxious and obnoxious – we should bring OSHA down here.
I feel a little better now that I have let off some steam,
So I resign myself to my lot in life and I deal with it and in it.
My cryptic workers – God bless mein lieber kinder, the crypts of Lieberkuhn:
They take that stuff into their crypts and work away at it for hours and sometimes days.
And voila – with bubble, bubble, toil and trouble,
A well molded product of dehydrated debris
Mixed with a tincture of mucus, a bead of sweat, and fermented gas for the rise,
To which I add a drop of color with my stercobilin
To form beautiful compacted nuggets called scybalae.
Getting rid of the product and passing it on into the free world is yet another story.
Some wondrous interactions are going on between me and my muscles (and you and your muscles, and your marvelous mind and body).
To cut a long story short, the coordination is quite something until we finally get the job done.
I heave a sigh of relief when I see the fruit of my labor out of the door.
In the end I am very happy to be part of your body,
To do my little thing, retrieve some water, and earn my keep.
So that you can experience another wondrous day, enjoy another meal,
And live to tell another tail … end story.