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April Nights

Kutchins, Laurie

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: April 2003 - Volume 103 - Issue 4 - p 47
FEATURES: Art of Nursing

“April Nights,” a poem.

Art of Nursing is coordinated by Sylvia Foley, senior editor:

Moon, like a husk of corn in the making.

It's empty again, small farmhouse across the road.

The white clapboard glowing its own.

Wide-eyed and croupy at four am, outside in the yard

the baby stops coughing, finds

the moon and wheezes, “where's grandpa?”

These nights in the country,

once the dogs are quiet: so much silence

and then a question, a car

making the curve

or a blouse of wind sounding like the sigh

of someone pulling through a coma,

at last the other side.

And the moon again. Husk in the making.

Laurie Kutchins teaches creative writing at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, and at the Taos Summer Writers Conference in New Mexico. She is interested in the relationship between art and health and healing and has designed a course called “Art as Medicine” (after the title of the prominent book by Shaun McNiff). She has written two books of poetry, Between Towns (Texas Tech University Press, 1993) and The Night Path (BOA Editions, 1997), and her poems have appeared in various magazines, including the New Yorker.

About the making of “April Nights” Kutchins says, “My father had recently died after being in a coma, and that was on my mind. I was reading the T'ang dynasty poets and Federico Garcia Lorca's First Songs and sought to apprentice myself. I wanted to try a poem built using (as Lorca does) a recurring image that floats and frames the poem. The poem grew out of unrelated lines and images jotted into a small notebook; later, while shaping the poem, I began to discover the connective strands between them.”

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.