Tag Archives: Spring 2011

Breese Nursing Home: an exploration of humanity and love

Ellen Jantzen Newport Beach, California, United States (Spring 2011)   I attended a nursing home Christmas party at the Breese Nursing Home in Illinois the week before Christmas, 2010 and was very moved by the residents and their families; it was a life-changing event for me. Before, while visiting my mother-in-law, I would divert my […]

Balloons

John A. Vanek St. Petersburg, Florida, USA Poet’s statement: Poetry provides a vehicle that takes me to places that logic won’t go, a way of understanding the incomprehensible, both in life and in medicine. I now prescribe poetry PRN (“as needed”), but warn that it may hurt a little. My poems are peopled with my family, […]

Always, Autumn Leaves

 John A. Vanek St. Petersburg, Florida, United States (Spring 2011)Poet’s statement: Poetry provides a vehicle that takes me to places that logic won’t go, a way of understanding the incomprehensible, both in life and in medicine. I now prescribe poetry PRN (“as needed”), but warn that it may hurt a little. My poems are peopled with […]

The Homemaker

Jessica A. Harder, MD Boston, Massachusetts, USA Poet’s statement: My poems explore moments of intense emotive experience, particularly themes of overwhelming awe and wonder, sensual delight, and excruciating empathy with those in pain or suffering. They also ponder the limits of human understanding, especially of science and the natural world, and the larger questions of meaning-making […]

Blind faith

Susan Woldenberg Butler Canberra, Australia   This fictional short story was published in Secrets from the Black Bag (Royal College of General Practitioners Publications; London, December, 2005). Some patients will do anything we tell them. Others obey their spouses blindly. Ambrose O’Sullivan did as his wife directed. It killed her. “Divina won’t be needing that […]

There is a time

Joel L. Chinitz Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Vanitas, 1686 Adriaen Coorte, Dutch (1660–1707) Oil on canvas 19.72 × 16.3 in When the doors flew open, the noisy hoard—many in dirty, white jackets and floppy, bloodstained, green pants—circled the nurses’ station and overran the medical Intensive Care Unit. Wednesday renal rounds had begun. As two […]

‘The lament of the Old Woman of Beare’—contrasting the passage of life

Basil Brooke Johannesburg, South Africa   Hag’s Head (Ceann Cailli) © Bob Jones   It is well for an island of the great sea: flood comes to it after its ebb; as for me, I expect no flood after ebb to come to me. Today there is scarcely a dwelling-place I could recognize; what was […]

Ending one’s life on the stage

Angela Belli                                                                             New York City, New York, USA   Writers and physicians often share the same sensibilities […]

My mom’s death

Kristen Erickson Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, United States   My mom, Tracey, died just over nine years ago at the age of 39. I had just turned 16. Diagnosed with glioblastoma in July 2001, my mother’s last six months were filled with surgeries, infections, and radiation treatments. She rapidly declined in strength, followed by confusion and death. […]

Desert blooms

Geraldine Gorman University of Illinois, Chicago, United States (Spring 2011) Springtime has come to the desert. It is subtle, but spring, nonetheless. I am here with a group of nursing students who are spending their break working with a humanitarian aid organization serving the undocumented border crossers. Some of us are in Nogales, which spans […]