Jan A. Jahner, RN-BC
Christus St. Vincent Hospital, Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States
Poet’s statement: In the early weeks of my brother’s cancer journey, both of us were quite ungrounded. “A Burglar in the Body” reflects a snapshot in time. Nine months later he says: “Cancer came with the morning paper, knocking on my door, saying, ‘Guess what? Wake-up time, I’m yours.’”
“Too Heavy” takes place in the morgue, inspired by my first and only autopsy. While invited to attend, I found myself somewhat traumatized by the experience I had entered into without an adequate mentor.
|Photography by Cordey||Too heavy
Forty-eight hours ago she was shoving
His scalpel starts with a cross-cut to chest
Forty-seven hours and fifteen minutes ago I’d led the code—
Creamy white lines her vessels like icing
The pathologist has placed the heart on his table
I’m helping hose down the table
JAN A. JAHNER, RN-BC, CHPN, PMO, needed to understand some of her nursing experiences, and found writing a relaxing expressive outlet. She started her career in the emergency room. The adrenaline became a toxic substance, and she moved to end-of-life care where the pace and people seemed to have more heart. Jahner has just completed a chaplaincy program and is a palliative care specialist, using a contemplative approach to enliven her experiences and relationships.