Month: August 2015

First Language

Carl V. Tyler

In my clinic and in the nursing home
Every week I see it
That depthless hollow look behind the eyes
But this time it was your eyes
Sitting across the table
At a TGI Friday’s outside of DC.

And that all-too-familiar look to your face
Of knowing and not knowing
Of barely contained panic
Of quizzically furrowed brow
Of fear.

Lost was your rich and subtle language
The rapid-fire musical cadence
The effortless literary allusions
Of English teacher and poet.

Day of Reckoning

Suzanne Minor

Yesterday my friend Sophie asked me to accompany her to a Miami hospital intensive-care unit to see her older brother, Guillermo. He’d been admitted the previous night with seizures and cardiac arrhythmia.

Joined by my husband, we made our way to the ICU. When she saw Guillermo lying immobile, swollen and unresponsive, with a breathing tube in his mouth and other tubes snaking into his chest from IV poles, Sophie broke down sobbing.

Seeing her reaction, I felt a little ashamed at my own calm, although I knew it was hard-earned. During my years as a family doctor working in Miami-Dade County’s community clinics, I’d witnessed countless scenes like this one. Where Sophie saw a beloved brother utterly vulnerable and present only physically, I saw a fluid-overloaded patient hooked up to a ventilator, with the appropriate drugs being administered and a dialysis machine cooling and filtering his blood to treat his seizures.

playground stumbar

Through Our Eyes #2 (Playground)

submitted by Sarah Stumbar

About the series: 

“From August through December 2013, as part of a social medicine project I met with a group of four teenage girls in the third-floor conference room of a Bronx family health center. Over healthy snacks we discussed topics relevant to growing up as a girl in this Bronx community: obesity, violence, exercise, access to green spaces, relationships, body image and sexuality–complex issues which gave them an opportunity to voice their dreams for themselves and their community. Each girl was given a disposable camera and asked to take photographs of her neighborhood. This photograph is one of these. The collective voice of these young women teaches us that, even in deserted streets and playgrounds, they are able to find beauty and hope. They remind us of the importance of giving all young people a voice as a way of fostering their growth and resiliency.”

About the artwork:

Through Our Eyes #2 (Playground) Read More »

House Beautiful

Liat Katz

Virginia is sweet. And I don’t mean that in a patronizing, “Isn’t she cute and sweet in her neediness and cluelessness” kind of way. You can tell that she has always been a warm and inviting person, and that she likes people. And today, I need sweet.

As an Adult Protective Services (APS) social worker, I’ve had quite a week among the belligerent abusers, the angry hoarders and the adult children unwilling to help their aging parents who are living in squalor. So I am thrilled that my new client, Virginia, is sweet.

Virginia came in as a financial-exploitation case. Apparently some men had bilked her out of $25,000, promising that in exchange they would cut down some trees in her yard. When she told her church friends how thankful she was and showed them the empty yard, her friends called us, because no one remembered seeing any trees there in the first place.

The Circulating Nurse Enters the Operating Room

Cortney Davis

Let me not be blinded by the glare of the spotlight
or distracted by the tangle of plastic tubes,

the stink of anesthesia waiting in its multi-chambered
monolith of sleep. Let me stand beside the patient

and look into his eyes. Let me say, we will take care of you.
Let me understand what it is to be overcome by fear.

Let me secure my mask and turn to the counting and opening,
the writing down. Let me watch closely and, if I have to,

churcheverysunday

Through Our Eyes #1 (I go to church every Sunday)

submitted by Sarah Stumbar

About the series: 

“From August through December 2013, as part of a social medicine project I met with a group of four teenage girls in the third-floor conference room of a Bronx family health center. Over healthy snacks we discussed topics relevant to growing up as a girl in this Bronx community: obesity, violence, exercise, access to green spaces, relationships, body image and sexuality–complex issues which gave them an opportunity to voice their dreams for themselves and their community. Each girl was given a disposable camera and asked to take photographs of her neighborhood. This photograph is one of these. The collective voice of these young women teaches us that, even in deserted streets and playgrounds, they are able to find beauty and hope. They remind us of the importance of giving all young people a voice as a way of fostering their growth and resiliency.”

About the artwork:

Through Our Eyes #1 (I go to church every Sunday) Read More »

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