There is a little story behind it, as there is for most things. Several years ago I was indeed in the ER, and I wrote this poem on the back of an envelope with a dry erase marker. And I felt like dim sum as I was wheeled from one station to another. And the medical equipment sounded like an poorly programmed music synthesizer. The poem is grounded in reality but at some point becomes metaphorical, which (I hope) helps it soar above the mechanical play-by-play documentation of an unpleasant evening. The poem has become a somewhat quirky favorite from my book Moon Full of Moons.
I decided to enter the Goodreads poetry contest. “Want your words to reach more than 22 million people?” the group moderator wrote. “Please post your poem for the October 2016 Goodreads Newsletter Contest!” I submitted the poem Emergency Department, as did 300 other poets. Emergency Department was chosen by judges as one of six finalists, and the six finalists were entered in a poll that selected the winner. And Emergency Department won.
Below is a screen shot of the Goodreads Newsletter that features my poem. And what’s a missed stanza break between friends? I am grateful my poem was chosen and am delighted to share the news with you. Please enjoy it for many moons!
It’s a fine example of turning lemon into lemonade, or perhaps turning a moon that looks half-empty into a moon that looks half-full. It’s something we keep doing as we do as we shine our light.