DNR: How Hands Put Things In Order by Catherine Klatzker

  Catherine Klatzker is a writer and RN in Los Angeles, California, retired after twenty-two years in pediatric intensive care. Her poem  "Order"  appears in the Fall 2017 issue of  Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine .

 Catherine Klatzker is a writer and RN in Los Angeles, California, retired after twenty-two years in pediatric intensive care. Her poem "Order" appears in the Fall 2017 issue of Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.

In this Crossroads blog, poet Catherine Klatzker reflects on another poet's work in Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.

It is like this, perfectly stated in Virginia Boudreau’s “Signing the Order”, a poem that appeared in the Spring 2016 Intima:

the lyrical dancer within

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I had focused on my hands

documenting symptoms

clipping them neatly in their folder

organizing pain in categories

 

I would see only the backs of my hands

poised over the keyboard

electronically listing in Times New Roman

the tearing, the searing, the deep cramping

 

possibly noting my hand veins

the scars of multiple IV assaults

the unkempt nails, the curve of fingers

taught long ago in Typing 101.

 

It is like this, perfectly stated

in Virginia Boudreau’s “Signing the Order”

 

the restrained flutter awaiting flight

 

My sister and I compared our symptoms

our tidy folders of test results

our ongoing malabsorptions before she

signed her Do Not Resuscitate

 

Yes, I say, when the EMTs ask

if she has a DNR

Yes, it’s in the blue folder

Yes, I say, when they ask if they

they should stop compressions

Yes, I weep, she trusted me

with this, it’s in the folder.


Catherine Klatzker is a writer and RN in Los Angeles, California, retired after twenty-two years in pediatric intensive care. Her essay “Al Chet” was 2014 nonfiction winner in Tiferet: A Journal of Spiritual Literature. Catherine Klatzker’s work has appeared in Intima, Fall 2013 “Range of Vision” & Spring 2015 “What We See When We See Each Other”; Emrys Journal; Lime Hawk Literary Journal; The Examined Life Literary Journal, and the anthologies Same Time Next Week, and Parts Unbound, both in 2015. Her book-in-progress was shortlisted for the 2015 Mary Roberts Rinehart Nonfiction Prize from Stillhouse Press. Her poem "Order" appears in the Fall 2017 issue of Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.

© 2018 Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine

 

Source: www.theintima.org