Touch: The Journal of Healing


Dr. Helen Brooke Taussig

    by James S. Wilk

She discarded her stethoscope;

instead, her fingers would crawl

across the chests of those blue

babies, feeling for murmurs,

the way a butterfly’s proboscis

probes delphinium blossoms

in search of sweet nectar.

Her hearing had faded away

with each tiny patient, the way

a thousand gentle strokes

of a child’s pointer finger strips

the powder from a butterfly’s wings.

© 2009 James S. Wilk

James S. Wilk is a practicing physician in Denver, Colorado, specializing in medical disorders complicating pregnancy.  His work has appeared in a variety of literary and medical journals, including Measure, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Ars Medica, The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, The Raintown Review, The Barefoot Muse, and CHEST.  His chapbook, Shoulders, Fibs, and Lies, is available through the author or through Pudding House Press.


Copyright © 2009

Touch: The Journal of Healing

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