Letters to a Nurse #21

Photo by Ethan Bethune

I wonder if anyone ever really escapes their origins?

Do we run continuously?

I think we are who we are

Never mind the what

So long as The Who in us overcomes,

Can we overcome?

I woke up and reached for you

But you’re not here

The bed is empty

I was afraid

What if years had passed

Would it be the same

Without you here?

I was afraid to look in the mirror and see

If I was older

Would I remember the taste of your lips?

The curve of your hips

Your eyes burning through me

I think my soul

Looks for you

In every room

No one else is you…

Letters to a Nurse #18

maybe the past has a way of reminding us

We’re not that far from who we used to be

I just wanted to say

Thank you for loving me

You’re a good nurse

A good friend

And when I’m with you

I feel so lucky

And when I’m not with you

I miss you…

I miss you…

The bed is empty without you here

Champagne can only do so much

I miss talking with you

Someone should really

Tell the others

What marriage is really like

How you have to grow

The unspoken rules

What you find yourself carrying

And how we change

no one else will do

Not a soul in a room

There’s only you…


All the flowers grow

At night


The roots

Grow deep

And we are not saints

The dust doesn’t just stick

To our shoes

In the morning light

It’s behind our eyes

It’s in our lungs

And we have the cough to prove

Maybe I’m not a poet

But I see you across the room

Hair fire red

tougher than the rest

A fast machine

When the lights go out

The moon in your eyes

Giving the wolves

A reason to scream

You’ll make me believe –

But that’s not why I’m here

Because 6 out of ten nights

I just want to be close to you

And I’ll walk the line

This isn’t us against the world

You’re the only world I’ll ever need

As long as you love me

I’d walk with you

Every night

And we would wait as the gardens grow

And the earth is reborn


Photo origin – Ethan Bethune

Letters to a Nurse #15

Thank you for being the amazing woman you are.

We have a pretty great thing 

A nice family 

A cool dog 

He says hi 

You always keep me calm and grounded 

You’ve helped me write more boldly 

I hope I continue to make you proud  

I don’t know what I would do without you. 

And more

You’re beautiful 

I’ve always thought so 

I don’t know how 

But you grow more 

Beautiful and radiant 

Every day 

I love every part of you 

Every curve 

Thank you for loving me 

And for picking me 

Believing in me 

It is the honour of my life 

To be your man.


Letters to a Nurse #14

I’m a little late, but, My wife is a night shift nurse so most of her life is spent in scrubs. She doesn’t get to dress up a lot. The only problem is she loves shoes. So she buys shoes. Lots of shoes. And then they come in and she puts them on and calls me and is like, “hey I got my shoes. I LOVE them. They are so awesome.” And you need to know this. She is sitting in her pajamas drinking coffee. Wearing her new shoes before she goes to work. 

Happy New Year to my wife. Who works Holidays and didn’t get to dress up to ring it in. I love you. I can’t wait to do 2017 with you. Happy Anniversary. 

Letters to a Nurse #7

You come to me

And the air 

Is getting thin 

The waters

Run still

But your waves 

Are crashing over me 

The weight 

Of who I am 

My body and these bones 

All of the clocks 

On these walls


We’ve written our names

In the face of the moon


it rains diamonds

On Jupiter 


But there still isn’t enough time 

For me to love 

You right


When words fade 

From this 


We will remain 


Surely you know,

You don’t have to change ,

Not here,

It rains fire …


I’m on fire …

When I’m with you 

And I am with you

Take my body

All that I am 


Breath for breath

See what you’ve done 

From  here to eternity…

I will be reading only you

And even then 

I will be learning 

How to love you. 


Talks with Women #5

In nursing school, they tried to sell all of us on the joys and self-fulfillment of becoming a nurse. Instructors tried to make nursing out to be this grandiose profession that is all rewarding. I guess from day one I realized the difference between me and a lot of my classmates…I was no Florence Nightingale.

I have been a night shift nurse since I graduated. I enjoy the night shift. It seems the family bond happens faster with night crews. There aren’t as many of us to depend on so when “the shit hits the fan” as we say, all of us are in it together. I wouldn’t trade my night family for anything.

I guess I’m luckier than most when it comes to having a spouse who is understanding about working nights. My better half is also a night shift nurse in the ICU. We were able to work things out to be on the same schedule and that just makes life easier. It’s also nice to have someone really understand what I face daily. A lot of my night family aren’t as lucky.

Night shift has its pros and cons. I can say I have seen a lot more intense situations on nights than I ever did when I worked ER on days. On the flip side, I have missed a lot of family and friends events. I’ve missed several of my son’s school functions and I will miss another this month…senior prom. We sacrifice a lot for what seems to be the good as a whole, but doesn’t mean we don’t feel the void of what we miss. Maybe that is a big part of what bonds us night shifters. We understand that we are all missing something important to come together to save others.

It’s stressful. Going from one room where you tried your hardest to save a patient to another where the patient is mad you forgot their water. This new found mentality of entitlement everyone has nowadays makes Susie Q think her sore throat is more important than the man next door that lost his battle to stay with his wife a little longer. It makes me mad that healthcare has come down to giving patient’s a spa like stay versus saving lives. That’s the downside of nursing for me…politics.

I am an ER nurse. It’s the only place that makes sense for me. No, I’m not the nurse that will blow smoke up your ass or cater to your complaints. I’m not the nurse that will baby you and let you speak to me, or my work family, any way you please. I will most likely be identified as the “mean one” out of the group, but that’s ok because at the end of the day I know I did my job and I did it right. I am the straight forward, no nonsense nurse that may give certain patients nightmares.

Working in the ER changes you, it hardens you, but those of us that work the ER know how fragile life really is and to live it to the fullest. I’m not in it for the compliments or patient satisfaction scores. I’m in it to save lives.

Cyndi, ER Nurse, Alabama  
 Photo origin unknown 

Letters to a Nurse #5

We can prepare for things
A car failing 
Running out of soaps 
Growing senile 
Forgetting why we even prepared 
The list goes on 
But how do you prepare for 
The person you’re going to dance in the kitchen with?
The person you’re going to laugh and cry with?
How do you prepare for being sick 
For being healthy?
For being the best you’ll ever be
And for growing old 
With this person

The openness 
To see you 

Rise into the woman you’re becoming

To be vulnerable 
And touched by you 
Built back by you 
And to love you
Discover you

And know you 

I couldn’t prepare 
And so 
I’m going to need a lifetime 

What else is there? 


Letters to a Nurse #4

84 + 

hours a week 

168 + 

hours a month 

Night shift

I think my heart 

Writes letters to yours

While we are apart


I feel yours answering

I know it’s draining 

I don’t have to make another list 

Regarding death 

Or numbers of offenses…

You already know all of that 


This is simply for you 

when you feel 



Chocolate cake 

Is good 

But gelato is too 

Even though 

They are nothing alike 

Christmas –

Valentine’s Day 


New Years 


Are just as good 


The first time we kissed 

all of these things 

They are good 

And beautiful 

And different than the other 

But none compare to you 

And your soul 

Or what you make me feel 

You are beautiful

When you feel stuck 

Or like less 


How far you’ve come 

And don’t let anyone make you feel 

That way

You’re strong 

You’re smart and intelligent 

You’re moving forward 

Not backwards 

True power 

Is always the calmest 

Because it knows 

What it has 

Someone said 

A witch isn’t afraid of the woods 

Because she knows she’s the scariest thing in them…

So go be scary 

Go be strong 

But know 


You have me 

All of me 

And I love you