Midnight Shift

Only this time, I’m wearing a gown, mask, gloves and a cap just like the ones we wore in the OR years ago. Except I’m not in the OR, but an isolation unit. It’s summer and I’m sweating– moisture flows between my breasts, down the inside of my legs, my back. The mask is soaked, breath sour. As soon as I finish with one patient’s care, another is rolled in. Then another. And another.

no breath
a so-called friend
holds my head under

Grandmother’s Pearls : An Anthology of Dream Poems

ed. Alexis Rotella

Published 2021

Boot Camp

Neurosurgery rotation. All the older students say it will be depressing. We arrive on a Monday morning in October, not knowing what to expect. Orientation includes a tour of all the rooms. Most are occupied by patients who do not respond to ‘verbal stimuli.’ “The patients may not be able to answer you when you […]

A Double Whirl – With Esther

girls didn’t leave home until the wedding in those days,
still,  Esther was bound for the city
watching the darkness gather outside the window,
her body relaxing as the train sped along,
the droning of the wheels lulling her,
she grasped the last bit of light ringing the horizon,
plucking an invisible flow of memories
streaming across her awareness, one by one,
she made a list – a gutsy plan,
not at all her usual routine.
 she saw it as her only way out,
 wondering, would her father see it her way ?


 when she entered the hospital
walking under the old fashioned door frame,
Esther felt safe,
  courting bravery until it became second nature,
her only wages were the tricks she gleaned
and the support she sought while she learned her art,
never mind failure, she threw all-night parties cramming
chemistry, anatomy, physiology, biology, psychology
and all those other ‘ologies into her mind
and her heart,
 bitten by this  virus,
and smitten by a
 strange desire to comfort.
much later, she wrapped herself in white
and fell in with a band of Nightingales.


©Wabi Sabi 2014

More Esther poems here and here

Sunday Whirl – # 147, #148

Poets United – Pantry