To Bleed and Break

Sometimes all I can see of my heart is red. Red for the bleeding, the breaking, the pain. Red for the sorrow, the wonder at the way I’m wired. It takes a lot to hold out my heart. To bleed for others, their hopes, their suffering, a relentless concern for those who repeatedly break me…

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Wrinkle Cream and Eternal Glory

The cheap, squat container of white cream makes a wild claim: the power to stretch time, to make it elastic and supple. All I have to do is grease my face nightly, submit to the sting, and it will dam the water that is bubbling beneath the surface, conspiring to burst forth and rake my…

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The Encounter

I lie still, my back pressed into the blankets on the summer sheets, arms clasped across my chest, eyes closed. I cross my feet. Sinking, sinking, not drowning. Gravity compels the air to form to my body, enclosing me, swaddling me. As my body floats, the bed disappears.

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With No Purpose

Every year I look forward to the passage from winter to spring. This year I hardly noticed it. During this year’s transition month, I was admitted to the hospital three times, each time sicker than the last. Surgery was the last option but the eventual outcome. Then ICU, then complications, and then, finally, I was…

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If Life Was a Food Fight

My critical eye takes in my form in the long oak-framed mirror as I tuck the billowy white top into my jeans. On principle, I don’t wear white. “White” is my lunch, make-up, and pit stains on display for the world to see. It’s impracticality, stamped with an expiration date.

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The White Dress

Bagpipes resounded “Amazing Grace” as the June rain pounded the roof of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. After the bridesmaids processed in pale pink tea dresses to the tune of “Canon in D,” the large wooden doors shut. Thunder clapped, marking the redemption of this day, the many dark chapters of our stories now expanding and…

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The Woman in White

“This is the dress​.” I breathed the words barely above a whisper, just loud enough for my mom and best friend to hear. As I stood in front of the bridal mirror mesmerized by my reflection, I heard my mom break the awe of the moment with a quick clarifying question: “But we can get…

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What the Heart Knows

Tightness pulls across my chest as I wrap up documenting progress notes for the last few patients of my day. Documentation is, by far, the part of my job that I love the least. I’ve always said that I love what I do, but I’d love it even more if I didn’t have to write…

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