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A Tribute to Mental Health Workers

The Winter 2010 (#34) issue of Rattle: Poetry for the 21st Century includes a tribute to mental health workers, “spotlighting the poetry of 26 mental health professionals. These psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, counselors, and case-workers dive inside the mind daily and come home soggy with the muck of dreams. Many of them write about their careers, but the scope is broad, and all of their poems are informed by years of training and unique insights on the human soul. The section is highlighted throughout by the stunning abstract portraiture of art therapist Mia Barkan Clarke. As psychoanalyst Forrest Hamer writes,’so much depends on what’s under.'”

The Rattle blog features the poem “Nursing Home” by Ed Galing, which begins:

this morning when i
got up
they had to change
the bed sheets again
because i had wet
myself during the
like a baby who can’t
control his bowels,
my helper, miss jones,
a nice young black
girl didn’t mind doing
i just sat in a chair
when she changed the
dirty wet sheets with
new clean ones, and
i said, i am sorry,
and she said, with a smile,
it’s alright,
i used to do it for my
own father when he had
prostate cancer,
in this nursing home
everyone is good to me,
. . .

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