Thursday, December 24, 2009

Guest Blog: Cleft

Jon Neher is clinical professor of family medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle and associate director of the Valley Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program. He is editor-in-chief of the newsletter Evidence-Based Practice and a frequent contributor of essays on medical education to Family Medicine. The following poem was first published in Pulse Magazine.


As Caroline was born
the doctor saw
the split
from lip to nose -
purple rimmed,
going down deep -
Deep enough
to hurt

And the imperfect doctor,
tired of wounds,
tired of divisions,
saw the small
Chose that moment
Chose tenderness
Saying simply
She is beautiful.

And the imperfect mother,
tired of pain,
held her child,
touched the tiny,
ragged face
Chose that moment
Chose acceptance
crying softly
She is beautiful.

- Jon Neher