Touch: The Journal of Healing



    by Maria Basile


            I am the sun, in my white coat.

                                          -- Sylvia Plath


The surgeon at 2 a.m. is not where you think she is.

She is not waging war on cancer.

She is not resting her 9 month

belly near the belly of a sleeping patient. She

is not answering another

solace-seeking call

from you.


She is not visiting her

sickest of patients.  She is not

loving the husband she tells everyone about, but

barely touches.


She is not paying the mortgage. She

is not taking care of herself.

She is not even feeding

her baby.


The surgeon at 2 a.m. is

stroking sunset blood on college-ruled

canvas, breathing blue

abandonment between lines,

drenching gauze decay in bleach

and lye.


She is writing

for her life.

© 2009 Maria Basile

Maria Basile is a surgeon practicing in New York.  Dr. Basile teaches courses in Medical Humanities at Stony Brook University School of Medicine.  Her poetry has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and anthologized with the creative writing of other physicians and health care professionals.


Copyright © 2009

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.