Tag Archives: United States

Bone headdress

Susan Sample Salt Lake City, Utah, United States After artwork created by a person with cancer   Cow’s Skull with Calico Roses. Painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, 1931. Art Institute of Chicago. No known restrictions on publication. Why tens of bones linked with silver chain into an earthly veil? I gaze at other entries: hand-stitched quilts […]

Dream on

Paul Rousseau Charleston, South Carolina, United States   Footsteps in the forest. Photo by Nicholas D. on Flickr. CC BY-NC 2.0. Chart This is a 32-year-old female with widely metastatic breast cancer admitted to the hospital for control of shortness of breath and pain. ____ Melissa sits slumped, mouth open, snoring. I pull a chair […]

Villanelle

Jolene Won Chicago, Illinois, United States   Photo by Sandy Torchon on Pexels. I did not know today would be your last – we see no end for those that we hold dear. If I had known I’d not have let it pass. The nurse who knows she can’t set down her tasks continues on, […]

J. Marion Sims and the reputation-character distinction

Jack E. Riggs Matthew S. Smith Morgantown, West Virginia, United States   J. Marion Sims (1813-1883) Sims’ reputation during his life garnished national and international awards and recognition. Image via Wikimedia. Public domain. “Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.” — Thomas Paine (likely […]

Stay inside: a toast to the frontline

Tyler Beauchamp Rushay Amarath Andy Nguyen Augusta, Georgia, United States   The thumbnail of “Stay Inside | A Toast to the Frontline”. The music video has reached about 30,000 views at the time of publication. The COVID-19 pandemic introduced us to a danger we knew little of how to protect ourselves from. I had spent […]

The emergency room doctor

Rob Ottesen Vero Beach, Florida, United States   Photo by RF._.studio on Pexels. If you were to ask me, I like to have a glazed doughnut before I go to sleep because the sugar in the doughnut inhibits my body’s production of orexin, a neuropeptide, thereby ensuring a peaceful slumber. I also like the taste of […]

Miscarriage: a medical student in a rural clinic, Central America, 1977

Paul Rousseau Charleston, South Carolina, United States   A small town in Honduras. Photo by kristin klein on Flickr. CC BY 2.0. Elena sits perched on a gurney with claret-stained thighs. She has just miscarried in the clinic’s lavatory. She inquires of the gender of the fetus, and hands twitching and heart flapping, I blurt, […]

Andersonville, Georgia and Elmira, New York: When Hell was on Earth

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” — Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy   Andersonville Prison, Georgia. South end view of the stockade, showing the sentry stands in the distance. Photographed by A.J. Riddle, August 17, 1864. Library of Congress Liljenquist Family Collection. No known restrictions on publication. Elmira Prison, Elmira, […]

The vulnerability of love

Florence Gelo Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Breakfast in Bed, Mary Cassatt, 1897, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. Gift of the Virginia Steele Scott Foundation. Courtesy of the Huntington Art Museum, San Marino, California. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. On Thanksgiving Day, I watch my niece Jenn with her seven-month-old daughter Laila playing […]

The appendicitis conundrum

Jayant Radhakrishnan Nathaniel Koo Darien, Illinois, United States   Lorenz Heister (1683-1758) was a German surgeon and anatomist. In 1711, he described acute appendicitis in great detail and suggested that it be treated. From Institutiones chirurgicae, in quibus quicquid ad rem chirurgicam pertinet optima et novissima ratione pertractatur, Neapel, Antonio Cervone, 1749. Via Wikimedia. No […]