Images of Healing


You speak to me of Uganda
Recalling when you brought
A blade
To the neck of the king’s son
Your eyes widened
In surprise
By the memory
A memory
Scraped clean by
Your recent circles of
Frantic motion
Up all night, reading newspapers
Writing, pacing
An endless force
Pushing the cap off the bottle
And all your past
Bubbling up
Hitting and holding your wife
Running in the street in your underwear
These were boyhood days, you say
As you sit across from me
Large square glasses
Perched firmly on your nose
Your khakis ironed
Your new frantic circles
Tying back to the old
Brought together by the “side effect” of a medicine
But is this a side effect of anything?
Or is this moment meant to
As bubbles of carbon arise?
And I, I am new to this, to you
Our first encounter
Bearing witness
And trying safely to guide you
To the other shore
Out of the mad eddy
Endlessly connecting and circling

— Katherine Gergen Barnett, MD

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