40,674 Finger Pricks
Jennifer Caputo-Seidler ~
Inez Martinez as told to Erin McCoy ~
Editor's Note: Having just finished her first year of medical school, Erin McCoy became a summer intern for Pulse and embarked on a project to collect patient stories through interviews. One day, a family-medicine resident at a Bronx family health center told her about an interesting lady in Exam Room 8. "I go there," Erin says, "introduce myself and explain my mission. She agrees to speak to me, on one condition."
As long as you don't ask me how many drinks I have in a month.
I promise her that I won't, and press "record" on my iPhone.
I'm a survivor of 9/11. But I don't want to talk about that.
Francie Camper ~
City snow blankets my little mother in her hospital
bed in her bedroom, no wonder she is confused,
pointing to things in the air, on the ceiling that only
she can see. She might be hailing a cab. She raises
her head to tell me, Four members of the Isenberg
family came to visit and one was Mima Ettel,
who is already buried in the plot and she doesn’t
seem to know this. A land of the living and a land
of the dead, why should she have to remember
the difference? We paid a thousand dollars to move
her grandfather’s monument to make room for her.
Thomas E. Schindler ~
Editor's note: This Sunday will mark the last day that we accept poetry submissions this year. We offer today's story in honor of the poets who are sending us their creative works for consideration.
For the past few years, since becoming a grandfather, I have indulged in an afternoon nap. Last year, while arising after a nap, I fell on my face--hard. Cautiously, I got up, and then carefully lay down again, confused about what had just happened. Whatever it was, it passed--and I tried to forget about it.
Next morning, my reflection in the bathroom mirror startled me with a garish reminder of my fall: a purple bruise beneath my left eye. Also, something was wrong with my vision. When I looked left, I saw a blurry absence. Later, my ophthalmologist performed a field-of-vision test that revealed a significant blind spot. Although a CT scan failed to detect any brain lesions, he pushed for an MRI.