A visit from The Healing Muse: 'The Easy Patient' and 'In Zone Three'
Deirdre Neilen, PhD, shares a selection from Upstate‘s literary journal, “The Healing Muse,” every Sunday on “HealthLink on Air.” Neilen is the editor of the annual publication featuring fiction, poetry, essays and visual art focused on themes of medicine, illness, disability and healing. Read The Healing Muse Cafe Blog.
Today‘s selections are "The Easy Patient" by Erin McConnell and "In Zone Three" by Mick Cochrane. Order your copy of “The Healing Muse” today.
Deirdre Neilen, PhD: Two of our poets provided us a sense of how appearances are only a small part of any story. It takes a perceptive observer to see within.
Erin McConnell is a pediatric physician from Ohio who is also working on a master's degree in medical humanities. Look at how the patient she describes has tried so hard to be good.
This is "The Easy Patient":
You aim to be the easy patient:
seeing enough specialists
to not be a burden or
cause cognitive strain
Just a few refill requests
no additional concerns
arrival on time
even disposing of your own
No need for receipt
no follow-up scheduled
making as small a
carbon chain footprint as possible.
Mick Cochrane from Buffalo asks us to think about how the airlines reinforce our sense of worthiness with their zone hierarchies. But we don't know the real story.
Here is "In Zone Three":
no one thanks us for our service
we have accumulated no
points no perks we have no
right to upgrade no hope
of extra leg space or complimentary
anything it doesn't matter what indignity
our poorly packed luggage suffers to make
it fit we are nobodies red-eyed
sleepless lumps of coffee fear
we wear cargo shorts and Crocs
we are the army of the un-
fashionable we are a-stylish we
take no selfies because
we don't want to know we are
flustered by TSA and pet
the wrong dogs we belong
on a bus but we are here please
forgive us our sorry state
our heartache is too sudden
so this one time we must
find a way to fly