Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities


Lisa Alexander Baron
Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, United States


 Stillness Heals
photo by Ross Lance Mitchell

On the Women’s Porch, Crest Sanatorium, 1917

The nurse says, nothing on our nightstands,
and nothing on our walls. We are urged
to keep our minds and bodies
uncluttered for the silent fighting.
But we all have our little stacks
of black-and-white photos
of her and him and you: still
half-smiling, not yet committed
to a full smile, but your arms already
loosely around me, already feeling
like home – as I sit on this cure porch,
taking the air, my feet freezing
despite these layers of rugs, despite
this nurse’s barked-out orders –
and somehow, the kindness, too,
in the after-lilt of her voice,
which says more than
a quiet rest
walls and dams the poison,
which says, stillness heals,
this stranger carrying me closer
to home, to you.





LISA ALEXANDER BARON is the author of four poetry collections, including While She Poses based on images of women in visual art (Aldrich P, 2015). Her poems have appeared in Chautauqua, THEMA, Confrontation, Potomac Review, The Fourth River, and Philadelphia StoriesShe holds a J.D. from South Texas College of Law and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Baron teaches rhetoric in writing and speech, including medical advocacy, at Lehigh Carbon Community College and the School of  Business at Lasalle University in Philadelphia.


Spring 2018  |  Sections  |  Poetry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.