Touch: The Journal of Healing




    by Risa Denenberg

She enters the house on wings

aiming to land discreetly

among flocks of mothers,

brothers, lovers, sons.

She carries buckets, dressings, diapers,

ready to lay bare with a soft approach.

Gathering offerings, blending with soap,

sips of water, quiet touch.

They need knowledge of a kind

not previously imagined. They want

to know when. How to wait. What to say.

Things the doctor forgot to explain.

She tells them what she sees:

days-to-weeks, hours-to-days.

Once, she said: Now, right now.

And sent a gangly grandson

to fetch the preacher, as she stood

by the bed holding the hand of

this 62-year old man with silk-thin hair

and heartbreak eyes, wishing that his

daughter would glide into the room

instead of calling everyone. Come quick!

She finally had to say, He’s gone.

The child burst open then.

Although he wasn’t really gone.

His something was still in that room.

She could feel it hover and lift. Yes, lift

right out of his body. A warmth, a presence.

Still wanting voice.

© 2011 Risa Denenberg

Risa Denenberg is a nurse-practitioner living and working in Seattle.

Steve Cartwright has created art for several magazines, newspapers, websites, commercial and governmental clients, and books, and he has created pro bono art for several animal rescue groups.  He also enjoys scribbling - but mostly drooling - on tavern napkins.  He was also the staff artist for Skyline Magazine for several years.  In 2004, he was awarded the James Award from Sam's Dot Publishing for his cover art for Champagne Shivers magazine.  Most recently, he illustrated the Summer 2005 cover of Cimarron Review and  Stories for Children covers.

very-sick-woman © 2011 Steve Cartwright

Copyright © 2011

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.