1. Langer, Corey J. MD

Article Content

Submissions are welcome from oncologists, oncology nurses, and other cancer caregivers. E-mail only, please, to:, and include affiliation/title, address, and phone number, along with a photo, if available.



What should I pack?










Dogs and wolves?


Maybe, I'll pack myself


Cram my body


In the carry-on


Fold my ears carefully


So the zipper leaves


No bloodstains


Wear the cuffs of my trousers


Rolled, so they don't snag.


I'm not as limber


As I once was


I might need the jumbo suitcase


Then again, due to size restrictions,


I might be gate-checked


Forced into the cargo hold


Where unpressurized, I'll freeze and dry,


Shrink to the size of a mothball


Unrecognizable, even if I am




Awaiting reconstitution on the baggage carousel


Into something vaguely human


While those poor bastards above me


Packed together in steerage


Nose to seatback


Rack up their frequent flyer miles


Like Grandma used to save


Her S and H greenstamps


Reaping all the benefits


Of their wings and prayers


Corey J. Langer, MD, is Professor of Medicine and Chief of Thoracic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center, Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.


A former President of Delaware Valley Poets, a grassroots group based in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, that conducts monthly workshops and hosts monthly readings, he continues to spearhead its monthly readings, which are now done in tandem with US 1 Worksheets at the Princeton Public Library.

Corey J. Langer, MD.... - Click to enlarge in new windowCorey J. Langer, MD. Corey J. Langer, MD

His poetry has been widely published, including in Brooklines, A Muddy River Anthology, A Different Latitude, Thatchwork, Annals of Internal Medicine, Edison Literary Review, Quick and Dirty Poets, Identity Theory, U.S. 1, and U.S. 1 Worksheets.