By Sandra Miller, MD

The shyest of organs, kidneys hide
behind the peritoneum
and do not join in abdominal rumblings.
Blood flows through, creamy and thick, a velvet red.
After a whirlwind of sifting and sorting,
a storm of charged ions switching places,
what leaves is watery and weak, reeking of rejection.
The kidneys are completely without glamor.
In their drab retro-peritoneal closet
they will never beat with valor like the heart,
never give wind to songs like the lungs,
never compose sonnets like the brain.
Working silently backstage, they plumb away,
unheralded for crafting our foul, vital waste
simply because it is hard to love a drain.

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