Every poem is special to me, and every journal acceptance is a thrill. But today, I am especially thrilled that the American Journal of Nursing accepted my poem, Lessons, for their "Art of Nursing" department.
At the age of 19, my mother left nursing school without finishing her degree to marry my father. When I was in high school, she enrolled in the local community college to finish her degree. I remember studying together in the evenings, after dinner, at the dining room table. Me with my algebra, my mom with her Mosby's Medical Dictionary.
I played the piano -- a very basic rendition of Trumpet Voluntary -- at my mother's graduation ceremony. She received her Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) degree when she was in her mid-30s. I remember being very proud of my mother for that, and I still have the picture of her in her crisp white uniform, standing in our family's living room.
And though it took a couple of decades for me to even approach the subject in my poetry, I am glad now that I will be able to give her a copy of the journal with my poem in it, as my own tribute to her achievement.