Hospital Writing Workshop
By Rafael Campo
Arriving late, my clinic having run
past 6 again, I realize I don't
have cancer, don't have HIV, like them,
these students who are patients, who I lead
in writing exercises, reading poems.
For them, this isn't academic, it's
reality: I ask that they describe
an object right in front of them, to make
it come alive, and one writes about death,
her death, as if by just imagining
the softness of its skin, its panting rush
into her lap, that she might tame it; one
observes instead the love he lost, he's there,
beside him in his gown and wheelchair,
together finally again. I take
a good, long breath; we're quiet as newborns.
The little conference room grows warm, and right
before my eyes, I see that what I thought
unspeakable was more than this, was hope.
We got no winter precipitation on Tuesday, sandwiched between freezing rain on Monday and snow forecast for Wednesday, but I did not go anywhere adventurous -- my throat is still not back to normal and my voice keeps going out on me. I took Adam to a friend's for a movie marathon and lunch, then Daniel drove me to pick him up since he is working on getting the license he has put off for five years. I did a bunch of work and folded our travel laundry and we caught up on the episodes of Galavant and Madam Secretary that we missed (you can see how low Downton Abbey has slipped on my list).
Adam came home only to go out again for dinner and to go bowling with friends; the rest of us had salisbury steak, interrupted by a cat who decided to be sick in the kitchen in the middle of dinner, ugh. We watched Agent Carter, which I'm liking but not loving the way Tumblr is -- Atwell is wonderful and it's a delight to see Fonseca, but the storylines are not impressing me. Then we watched Forever, which I am loving despite this week's Bechdel fail and a certain degree of predictability. Here's a last batch of winter lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, where one of the themes this year was bicycles: