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A visit from the healing muse: ‘Excavating Grief’

Deirdre Neilen, PhDDeirdre Neilen, PhD shares a selection from Upstate’s literary journal, ‘The Healing Muse‘ every Sunday on HealthLink on Air. She edits the annual publication featuring fiction, poetry, essays and visual art focused on themes of medicine, illness, disability and healing.

Order your copy of “The Healing Muse” today!

 

Excavating Grief, by Pamela Mitchell

Bruce
Eric
Bill
Peter
Rick
David
John
Justin

one long road
stopping here and here and here
pulling into driveways

little pockets of dementia
and Kaposi’s
and cyto megolo virus

blind

where no one knew
except nurses
shoving Subarus into
four-wheel drive
plowing driveways
with prayer

flipping open hatchbacks
revealing baskets
tools—
gauze absorbing dreaded
body fluids      
tape of paper   silk   plastic

securing gauze laying flat
or stretched round skinney
limbs   torso   head

we brought our children
and I know why

we said   daycare problems
we knew   babies’ laughter warmed
your hearts

Bruce
Eric
Peter
Rick
Bill
David
John
Justin

we knew you mothers
would not come

we came
dressed your wounds
listened to stories
held you
rocked you

while our babies
toddled ‘round
chasing your puppy

we knew you
loved our babies
Truth be known

we brought them
as angels we held
with one hand

while, you, angel
slipped
right out of the other

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