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Another Kind of Healing

Editor’s Note: In the midst of last summer’s COVID pandemic, medical student Jordan Berka interviewed patients at a Bronx family health center, collecting personal stories from its diverse community. Today’s issue of Pulse is the product of one such interview. Rev. Rocke’s words are her own, approved by her for publication.

My name is Reverend Hyacinth Rocke, and I reside in the Bronx. I was born in Barbados. My husband died a little while ago,

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Metamorphosis

Lisa Burr ~

It was another simmering-hot Texas day, and the AC was faltering in the family-practice clinic where I worked as a family nurse practitioner. Most of our clients were poor and spoke only Spanish.

My nurse, Eliza, approached, wide-eyed.

“There’s a new patient–a woman named Maraby. She seems really angry,” she murmured. “She’s the color of Dijon mustard, and she’s wearing a long, heavy wool cape. She looks like she’s

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Expectations

 
Before the start of every school year, from the time I was nine up through middle school, I would make the same school-year resolution: to become shy.

I have always been too enthusiastic. Out of all my classmates, I sang the loudest at birthdays, I laughed the longest at jokes and I asked more questions than anyone else. In fifth grade, a firefighter visited my class; after I’d asked my third question

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Redesigning the practice of medicine

Pamela Mitchell

what if we went slowly thoughtfullyabout the business of healing
what if I bowedto you and you to mebefore we touched aching bodies
what if we saidout loudthisis sacred workmight I be madeworthy
what if I blessed your handsand you minebefore we began
repairingdeliveringdressinglistening to
broken bodieshungry souls

would we then returnto the placewhere so long agowe felt called
where we knew for sure thatwe did indeedhave

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