MEMOIR AND PROSE
Portfolio of Published Work
Published in Be Yourself, June 23, 2022
My decades of experience managing and advocating for my health almost felt like training ground for Covid-19.
Yet as prepared as I thought I was, living with Long Covid for more than two years has been a painful, exhausting, and humbling experience that at times has threatened to break my will. And still, it has been quietly transformative. For the first time, I have had to focus, not on living through or living in spite of, but on living with a disabling chronic illness.
Essay in Literacy and Learning in Times of Crisis (Peter Lang Publisher, 2022)
When COVID- 19 spread through the New York metropolitan region in March 2020, I found myself inhabiting two seemingly incongruent roles— as a severely ill patient and as a professor supporting students through the crisis. Yet my illness, rather than pulling my attention off of my teaching, heightened my capacity for empathy— for my students, as well as for everyone struggling to find their footing in the overwhelming moment.
Published in On_Culture, July 30, 2021
I have considered why I devoted precious energy to poetry, a seeming luxury, in those foggy weeks. I once remarked to a friend that decades ago, the pain of cancer was bearable once I found a way to think of it as interesting; it was tolerable in the moments when I was able to step outside of the pain momentarily, to observe it, marvel at it, be free of it. Writing poetry through COVID offered the same grace. At the end of each day, before succumbing to another fitful night, I reflected on whatever thought or fear had consumed me. As I wrote, it was I, not the pain or the breathlessness or the fatigue, who was in control of my story.
Published in The Huffington Post, March 8, 2021
I have experienced approximately 100 symptoms...Each day, getting up, showered and dressed is a painful hourslong process that leaves me short of breath and lightheaded. By late afternoon, I need a nap and rarely have the energy to prepare dinner. Although my life is no longer in danger, the inflammation that seems to be raging throughout my body will not quit.
Published in USA Today, October 14, 2020
We needed humanity and vulnerability from Trump. Instead we got political theater and aggressive machismo. All eyes were on him and he let us down.
Published in The Cabinet of Heed, Issue 37,
Drawer 2, September, 2020
The man behind Curtain #6, in the bed next to mine, is moaning. Moaning the plaintive sound of a man who is very, very cold. The sound of a man who is burning up with fever and cannot keep the warmth within his body. A man who is so cold and so hot all at once that it hurts.
Whenever he stops moaning, he coughs. And coughs. And coughs. A deep, dry hacking cough.
Published in The Huffington Post, June 24, 2020
Today marks my 100th day being sick with COVID-19. My symptoms began on March 17, two days after I published an essay on HuffPost Personal about facing difficulties getting my 16-year-old daughter Molly tested for the virus.
Back then, two weeks sounded like a very long time to be sick with COVID-19.
We had no idea.
Published in Noteworthy: The Journal Blog, May 23, 2020
If there were ever a moment for American ingenuity to shine, this is it.
It takes creative thinking and incremental steps to reopen safely — but that does not mean the economy must be shut down in the meantime; indeed, for many workers, it never has been. Let’s look to those who have already been thinking on their feet through the emergency to help lead the way in establishing safe next steps.
Published in The Huffington Post, March 15, 2020
Some people might currently be proud of the relatively low — but rising — number of cases in this country without asking if we have all of the information we need. But that pride is foolish.
Published in Metafore Magazine, Spring 2019
John lived alone in a house too large. A beautiful house built by his own hands for the family he no longer had. A house silent but for the strains of his violin—vibrant and haunting— newly learned, to fill the vacant living room.
Published in Rhythm & Bones: A Literary Magazine, July 15, 2018
Here, in this moment, I struggle. I do not know where this narrative is meant to go. And, without that, I do not know where this narrative begins. This is a story that is hard to tell.
Published in The Capra Review, spring 2018.
Cancer and MS hold silences that defy pride and survival. I cannot see my world through my children’s eyes, and, while I want their sightlines to remain unobstructed, I do not want them to see it through mine.
"THE FORCE OF LOVE"
Published in The Same, Issue 10.3 (June 18, 2018).
The ride picked up speed, and by the second time around the loop, Molly was pushed by the centrifugal force of the circling ride to the outer edge of her seat. As the cars sped around and around, she looked smaller and smaller in her seat, her fingers gripped tightly to the metal bar in front of her.
Published in Mothers Always Write, July 14, 2017.
But the grief, it is deep, and it is messy. The only way past it is by walking straight into its force so thick that some cannot make their way out.
Published in The Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, June, 2016.
In the vulnerable moments when we become unhinged from our expectations, our narratives can lead us in any direction, the endings unknown and unknowable. There is no possibility of getting back on course, when the old course is no longer available. Disease, loss, pain, betrayal—these events shake us to our core but what I have learned as I have had to re-consider and re-vise my identity time and again, is that they are not exceptional; terrible things happen to people all the time.