Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point
July 12, 2021
Poetry is an unusual outlet for someone who grew up in the area of Brooklyn, NY from which I hail. For me, self-expression has always afforded me an outlet for my frustrations and more importantly an opportunity to reflect on my life's work. As a geriatrician and palliative care physician our inevitable decline, end of life issues and our own spiritualty, however one defines that, have emerged from the depths of my being and found their way from pencil to page. Some of the titles are accompanied by sketches; images that have almost spontaneously appeared at the conclusion of a poem.
The poem, "Old Jim" and the sketch, "Old Jim" that I am entering, were reflections on illness, which can be unexpected, and aging, at time when we are more vulnerable to illness. Morgan Freeman, the actor, inspired the sketch. I pictured him as "Jim."
I never thought much of my poems or my sketches because I realized a long time ago that their purposes was not for others. They were written for my own personal reflections. After discussing self-expression as a wellness activity with my residents, I shared some examples of my poetry and sketches. They are the ones who have encouraged me to enter. I hope that the idea of "tuning in" to one's feelings through self-expression is helpful to others. It does not have to be good, it just has to be you!
Joseph Pino, MD, MBA, FAAHPM, FAAFP
Director Palliative Care Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, Hudson, FL 34667
Associate Clinical Professor, HCA Healthcare/USF Morsani College of Medicine