Pulse newmasthead 10th anniv 2252x376px

About More Voices

Every month More Voices invites readers to contribute short nonfiction prose pieces of 40 to 400 words on a healthcare theme.



new subscription

Join the 11,000+ who receive Pulse weekly

energize subscription 
Energize your subscription
with a contribution and
Pulse vibrant

Rosemary Zimmermann ~

I imagined something Victorian.
Perhaps I imagined a lecture hall filled with side-whiskered,
Sherlockian doctors, arguing case histories
like gentlemen playing chess with death--
or perhaps I imagined priests,
performing absolution at the bier.

I did not have to imagine the grey
underground conference room.
I was unsurprised at the bitter
coffee, the keening of the projector, the recalcitrant
bangs from the water pipes--

surprised only, perhaps, at the heavy thump
of the mundane: morbidity startling like turnips;
mortality remarkable as rain.

About the poet:

Rosemary Zimmermann is a nurse practitioner in Albany, NY. She lives with her small child, her cat and an inordinate number of books.

About the poem:

"At my first M&M conference, I was struck by the juxtaposition of the tragic and the banal. As I reflected, I realized that all tragedy is like that: situated firmly in the everyday. We only elevate it in our imaginations. I also wanted to see if I could successfully use the word 'turnip' in a poem."

Poetry editors:

Johanna Shapiro and Stacy Nigliazzo


# Mary-Lane Kamberg 2020-04-01 17:55
Really nice poem. Thanks for sharing.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Pris Campbell 2020-02-21 19:42
I enjoyed this. Good poem.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
# Sandra Miller 2020-02-21 18:20
Stunning, beautiful language.
Thank you.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote