The current issue just arrived from Wellesley Centers for Women on my computer screen. An impressive collection of serious writing about thought-provoking issues, from academia, tenure and feminism to historical and current events, criminal justice, sex museums, marriage equality, and so much more. Including poetry. And on the last page (32), two poems of mine.
When I first received the invitation to submit poetry to Wellesley College’s Women’s Review of Books, the call was for pairs of related poems. The challenge intrigued me, as I was just assembling a new collection about my sister. Of the three or five poem pairs I submitted, they accepted “Late Spring” and “Early Spring.” You can read them here.
The Wellesley Centers for Women, according to their website, “is a premier women- and gender-focused, social-change oriented research-and-action institute at Wellesley College. Our mission is to advance gender equality, social justice, and human wellbeing through high quality research, theory, and action programs.”
The Women’s Review of Books is one of their significant publications, and I am beyond honored to have been published by them twice now. (see my author’s note for HEAR ME, SEE ME).
I have resisted my impulse to combine several days’ worth of one-word WP Daily Prompts into a single post, opting instead to focus my profuse gratitude for an ER physician into this single post.
Dr. Singh is an Emergency Room physician in a hospital south of Boston. It happened that my youngest had been having a remarkably rough sequence of events following an innocent cat bite…
Well, revise that: if you know about cat bites, you know they are anything but innocent. The string of unfortunate events is a shaggy dog story of its own. What brought her to the ER was the result of treatment, and plenty scary. Here, I want to focus on the extreme professionalism, compassion, and cut-to-the-chase sensitivity of this particular physician. He observed the late hour – the distraught parents – the millennial putting on her brave face – the boyfriend with overnight bag in tow – the month-long medical record of interventions and their impact – and, avoiding platitudes, unnecessary overviews or demeaning talking-down, simply addressed us as the concerned and aware people we are.
In turn, I was feeling especially vulnerable on his behalf. Although this was Boston, well-known for its cultural diversity, tolerance and inclusion – all my growing-up years I knew Boston as the ‘melting pot of the nation’ – it was also the first-year anniversary of this country’s most divisive, uninclusive, intolerant period in our modern history. All I could think, as I watched and listened to this soft-spoken man with extreme expertise and learning, as he looked at each of us with searching dark brown eyes between his black turban and thick black beard, was how grateful I was for him. It was only later I realized how grateful I was on his behalf that he is in Boston; and simultaneously, how outraged I felt at the daily confrontations with uncertainty and bias he must face as he goes about his work. After 30 years of dedicated medical practice and doubtless thousands of well-treated patients, he deserves better.
I want to acknowledge his presence at my daughter’s bedside the other evening; and thank him for giving us information, confidence and a caring experience that I will never forget.