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Breath & Shadow

Spring 2009 - Vol. 6, Issue 2

"Medical Journals: A Trio of Poems"

written by

Kristin Roedell

"Surgical Valentine"


Speak from your heart,

my father is listening

his silver instruments

as sensitive

as a lover's ear--

Open, be opened,

like a bride,

to his most tender touch.

His tiny stitches,

his lover's hands,

and you, like a red rose,

scattering crimson petals all about.

He ties within you a lover's knot,

he leaves so gently,

that you may be healed if you wish.

you may feel loved if you wish.

You may let his touch return to you,


in a lover's circle.





On Sunday, in spring,

I dug up a bush too close to the fence

roots thick at first, then feathery.

I planted it deep,

blooms burst already.

Monday's design is as simple as Sunday's;

take a living thing,

dying where planted,

and give it new purchase.

Link veins like roots,

both thick and feathery,

and lay them deep--

blood blossoming.

Close the hole.

Hope for summer.



"Open, Heart"


Through my husband,

in whose hands I am tenderly

unfolded and changed,

I have unmasked and ungowned

my first love.

Through him,

I will be mended.

I can be touched.

I will remember how,


my father once held me.

Gently, with love,

reverse, unstitch,

make undone, let bleed,


Kristin Roedell is a wife, mother, and retired attorney residing in Lakewood, Washington. She has been writing poetry for about a year, and is currently working on a poetry portfolio for application to a Masters in Fine Arts program. She is bipolar, and cares for her bipolar teen, who is also a writer.

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