Saturday, November 7, 2009

Guest Blog: I Want to Work in A Hospital

Cortney Davis is the author of four poetry collections, most recently "Leopold's Maneuvers," winner of the 2003 Prairie Schooner Poetry Prize. She is co-editor of two anthologies of poetry and prose by nurses, "Between the Heartbeats" and "Intensive Care," and is the author of two non-fiction books, "I Knew a Woman: the Experience of the Female Body" and "The Heart's Truth: Essays on the Art of Nursing." A nurse practitioner, she is the poetry editor of the literary journal Alimentum: the Literature of Food. Her website is The following piece was first published in the Bellevue Literary Review (edited by physician-author Danielle Ofri, who also wrote a guest blog last month).



where it's okay
to climb into bed with patients
and hold them -
pre-op, before they lose
their legs or breasts, or after,
to tell them
they are still whole.

Or post-partum,
when they have just returned
from that strange garden,
or when they are dying,
as if somehow because I stay
they are free to go,
taking with them
the color of my eyes.

I want the daylight
I walk out into
to become the flashlight they carry,
waving it
so God might find them
as we go together
into their long night.

- Cortney Davis