For others, she’s mastered

the art of holding space,

the gift of giving grace.

For herself, she’s learning

to listen. In stillness, she knows

the artist inside

is calling her home.

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

She was the only psychologist at her institution. It was now a full-service COVID-19 facility. She had been providing support to both patients, as well as her colleagues, since the pandemic began. “This is the first time everyone is going through the same thing, including providers,” she said. “But I can’t tell a patient, ‘Oh yeah, I’m feeling the same way,’ when I’m the one providing stability.” She was visibly tired. When I asked her what drew her to this experience, she lit up. “I came to psychology later in life,” she said. “I used to be an artist, and I haven’t sketched anything for at least fifteen years. Psychology is a different kind of creativity than the immediacy of pen on paper. I want to reconnect with this side of me. I’m looking forward to picking up new skills.  Who knows, maybe I’ll continue.”

Interviewee: Anonymous, Psychologist
Listener Poet: Jenny Hegland

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