Anne Barlieb

2015 Warrior Care Month Healing Arts

Dear Doctor

Dear doctors who didn’t have time to listen to all my symptoms,
I got my diagnosis today.
Dear doctors who wasted my time for the last three years,
I got my diagnosis today.
Dear doctors who ordered the blood work but couldn’t find my results in “the system”,
I got my diagnosis today.
Dear doctors who made me feel like a problem – not like a patient and not like a person, but very much like a problem,
I got my diagnosis today.
Dear doctors who assured me they tested everything and were out of ideas,
I got my diagnosis today.
Dear doctors who told me, “ Well, the tumor is out now, you're cured, and should feel better,”
I got my diagnosis today.
Dear doctors who dismissed my tears while showing me to the door,
I got my diagnosis today.
Dear doctors who told me, “but you look so young and healthy, you should really try to relax,”
I got my diagnosis today.
Dear doctors who preferred to prescribe pills rather than run tests,
I got my diagnosis today.
Dear doctors who never bothered to look at my chart or review my history before the appointment,
I got my diagnosis today.
Dear doctors who insisted on repeating tests I already had,
I got my diagnosis today.
Dear doctors who showed up late and then rushed my appointment,
I got my diagnosis today.
Dear doctors who told me my case was out of their scope or specialty,
I got my diagnosis today.
Dear doctors who made me feel like giving up on myself – on my health and my future,
I got my diagnosis today.
Dear doctor still going through medschool because you want to make a difference,
I got my diagnosis today.


Looks Can Be

Looks can be deceiving, deceiving, deceiving
Buckle up
Zip up
Lace up
US Army believing, believing, believing
Push up
Sit up
Pull up
Don’t wake the others dreaming, dreaming, dreaming.
Stand up
Hook up
Chin up
What are we achieving, achieving, achieving?
Passed up
Throw up
Give up
We can’t see all the wounds we are receiving, receiving, receiving
Tear up
Cut up
Write up
Looks can be deceiving…

Thoughts while waiting

Waiting in this line, or for anything, is almost intolerable
My thoughts drip drip drip
like a frantic leaky faucet:
down the drain,
wasted.
Buckets of wet memories, liquid worries
all collected while waiting
leave me so thirsty.
It's almost intolerable
the wait
the thirst
the drip
the drain
the wasted thoughts.
It looks as though this line never ends.
“Hurry up and wait,” takes on new meaning
when there's no where to hide
from a leaky faucet that is always following so close behind.

Burnt Out

I returned home.
The AXE and Old Spice commercials leave me disoriented.
What is with this immature preoccupation with poisonous perfumes, cleanliness, and "bad" BO?
What is with this fascination for fake fragrances,
the saturation of superficial olfactory fashions that are only skin deep?
Completely useless.
Over there, we sweat together and got filthy together.
I came to appreciate the smell of a
real
honest
to
goodness
man
flying in the seat beside me.
It is the kind of scent that cannot be bottled up, sold for profit, or put on sale.
Natural, comforting, reassuring, intoxicating, unmistakable, irreplaceable, masculine.
Needed.
At home, everything smells clean, manufactured, fake.
Here, the commercials confuse me
and my nose can't figure it out.
Where have all the real men gone?

Burnt Out

I never realized my uniform was getting so painful to put on.
It happened so gradually,
The nerves must have burnt out one by one.

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