Slipping into someone else’s voice when writing a poem is one of my writerly challenges and delights. In my hospital-themed poetry collection for adults, Unity Hospital, the poems are in the voices of women who intersected with the hospital in some way: nurses, a doctor, a reporter, a candy striper, and more. (It’s out on submission now.) I love immersing myself in a time period and the particulars of a profession, then trying to find just the right words to convey that time and place and person.
The word “handsy” is a word not used often these days, but I think it is both descriptive and belittling at the same time, and evocative of a certain time period and attitude. Interviewing a retired nurse, the mother of a friend, gave me the spark for “Call the Doctor,” just published in an online journal from the medical community called Medmic. You can read it here.
Barbara, the mother of my dear friend Kathie, worked as a Labor and Delivery nurse for over 40 years. She passed away six months ago, and I’m so grateful I got to learn a little more about her nursing experiences, and about small acts of transgression in the nursing world of the past.
Happy Friday, poetry friends! Here’s to finding our voice, and to small acts of transgression!
On Fridays, I love taking part in Poetry Friday when I can, where writers share resources about children’s poetry. Check out the celebration of poetry on Jama Rattigan’s blog today!