Striking A Notable Difference In Healthcare Since 2002

The Poem

 It wasn’t even necessary to poke my head into the room and ask if anyone would like me to come in and play. Her beaming face caught my attention, and I smiled back as she began waving her hand to beckon me to come in. Denise was a woman about my own age (that would be middle-aged)—a handsome woman whose warmth and smile lit up the entire room. She introduced herself and her roommate, a woman with the same name as hers, and said that she was getting ready to go home, but that her roommate wasn’t doing quite as well. They had been good company for each other. Both Denises were excited to have a harpist in their room. Some time during her hospital stay, Denise had walked through the lobby and saw the harp class being held there. I told them that I would love to sit and play awhile, but I no sooner got started when a nurse came in to do one thing or another with Denise’s roommate. 
      Once the curtain was drawn between the two beds, I drew my chair closer to Denise and began to play softly. As she relaxed into the music, she told me that her mother was a pianist and that she really loved listening to music generally, and most especially, to harp music. She said that listening moved her to a different place. “Why don’t you make up a poem?” I asked her, remembering that she’d mentioned when I first came in that she used to write poetry long ago. At first she looked surprised, then deep in thought. In a moment she responded, “OK, yes, I’ll do that. Just let me lay back a moment and get into the music; let it inspire me.”
      After only a few short moments, Denise sat up in bed and began to recite a beautiful poem about a ballerina gliding across the stage. When she was done, she told me that the music reminded her of a dancer, flowing and peaceful. What a gift it was, I told her, to have words pour out so fluently and effortlessly. “Denise, we make such a great team. Music and poetry go so well together.”
      What a sacred moment! I wonder if she’ll be inspired to write poetry again. I wonder if it might help her in her battle with cancer. I told her she made my day. She told me I made hers. How can you beat that?!