My good friend Ted McMahon brought the latest issue of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) to our poetry group last night, and I was so delighted to see my poem "Tremor" appearing there. Charlene Breedlove had accepted it a while back, and I had forgotten it was due out this month.
The poem arises from my work with Cambodian refugees, and is really well-placed, as this issue contains research articles about Cambodian refugees, refugee mental health, PTSD, somatization disorder, etc. Here are the first few lines (I'll try not to scoop JAMA by posting the whole poem):
Because she took an extra scoop of rice
the soldiers made her watch
while one of them held a machete
swung it into her uncle's neck.
Don't close your eyes or we'll shoot you!
they said. She remembers how his face
grimaced, his eyes still blinking
as his head tumbled toward her . . .
Read the rest at a doctor's office near you! (Or at JAMA's website).