The Things We Can NameWhen I was a paramedic, there was a word for every body part, every sign and every symptom. *
I was eighteen and I knew them all: myocardial infarction subdural hematoma basal cell carcinoma * Lots of medics worked by sight: blood and guts and opened skin, the swirl of the blood pressure dial. * To me, everything made a sound: lub-dub of opening heart-valves splinter-crack of young white bones thump-thump whoosh of a femoral artery. *
Twenty years later, and I am the patient. Dropped off at the clinic by a man who is no longer lover, husband, or ex. He waits at a coffee shop, while I lay on the table. *
I still do everything by sound. The rustle-rustle of this paper vest, the smooth brush of her fingers around my breast, the reassuring rumble of her voice. *
Great and grateful sound the same through the ears of a silver stethoscope. I lift myself from the table, find my way to the door by feel. * The man who isn’t pulls around the corner, stops and waits. It’s a long walk to the car and my * heart is trying to tell me something. It sounds a little like a valve closing, a door opening. It sounds a little like lub.
About This Poem: Today’s poem arose from finding a link to the poem, “The Name of a Fish,” which I instantly fell in love with. And, as usual, I just ran with it.
About Poem-A-Day: For the month of April (National Poetry Month), I’ve signed on to write a poem-a-day (eeks!). To make it slightly easier on myself, my rules are that I have to write each poem in fifteen minutes or less, and that I have to post it here on the blog as soon as I’m done. No edits. Just rough. Raw. Right out of the gate. (Of course, if you’re playing along, I hope you’ll post a link to your poem in the comments here — mainly because I’m selfish and I want to read them!)