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
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