Did you know that April is National Poetry Month?
The main event of the month is Poem in Your Pocket Day. I work in a school currently which means poem in your pocket day is a pretty big event and you better be prepared. Kids will walk up to adults in the hallway and demand to see our poetry papers. All through the halls you can hear people reciting favorite verses. It’s a pretty heart warming event.
This year poem in your pocket day fell on April 17th which also happens to be my birthday. This is the poem from my pocket. It was written by Cortney Davis a Nurse Practitioner and writer. I found it originally in a book conveniently titled, “So you want to be a Nurse?” Turns out, I did indeed. I read the poem again and again as a primer for what it would be like to go into nursing. I read each line as a test. This is what the nurse likes. Is this what I like? After awhile it became a wish list. Turns out, dreams can come true. (and I know, I know, be careful what you wish for. sorry, just cant turn down my personal pollyanna)
Poetry had a lot to do with me deciding to actually take the steps needed to go back to school for nursing. I was sitting in my parents living room talking with my cousin who is a state trooper. Someone close to all our hearts had just died in a pretty horrific car accident. My cousin started telling me about his experiences as a trooper coming upon highway accident scenes. I guess from a certain perspective it was a macabre and inappropriate topic. But for me it was very interesting and somehow helpful. I remembered my early experiences working in an animal ICU (not the same thing I know) and how my favorite part was when the emergencies came in. Long ago I had wanted to look into emergency med and then I’d started college in a different field, and moved, and just sort of forgot. That night I remembered. Still it seemed like a sort of wild and far off dream for a gal who’d spent years working in theater. So I said,
- “huh. maybe I could be a nurse. I think I could do it.”
and walked casually out of the room.
My cousin (another of my heroes) followed behind me grabbed me by the arm, turned me around, and said
There is no maybe. If you believe it and want it, you do it. That’s it.
He then proceeded to recite, from memory, a poem by Rudyard Kipling that had gotten him through his training at the academy. He would recite it to himself when his body wanted to give out from the rigorous training. It was and still is one of the most inspiring moments of my life. Also a bit surreal. Here was this very stoic looking young man in a state trooper uniform passionately reciting poetry in my kitchen. It worked. You read the poem and tell me it wouldn’t convince you that you can and must do anything your heart calls you to do.
Happy poetry month everybody. May you find a poem in your pocket and a strong wish in your heart.