Kathleen Grieger


As you stroll, rummaging
within the crowd
You seek the acquisition
of change

Moving in on the mind,
the memories
you pick and choose

Sifting through to see
what treasures are there
Perhaps sighting the gift,
a perfect one to be found

A dream, perhaps two
A clearance of sorts
The separation of goods
Of the body and soul

They let themselves be seen
With a nick or crack there
Name a good price today
The cost you might pay

An acceptance
to barter
Another chance
to return

* * *


I am amazed
at the results
A stare, a grimace,
quick glance to the floor

Looking up and away
not wanting to gape
Perhaps pry
with stares

A friend went with me
to the hospital today
A check-up
after brain surgery

Walking behind me,
she felt scrutinized
and stripped

She saw glances,
the shifting,
something else
I was unable to see

People looking up
to gawk at me
Watching my back
as I walked away

Following two brain surgeries, Kathleen Grieger's pieces have been used to help teach physicians that patients are people first. They have been published in Blood and Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine, The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Breath & Shadow, The Healing Muse and others publications.