A Psychiatrist’s Guitar

Publication
Article
Psychiatric TimesVol 41, Issue 6

"Hear the story of wood, cut and stained and carved for someone’s need."

guitar

SlayStorm/AdobeStock

POETRY OF THE TIMES

Hear the story of wood,

cut and stained


and carved for someone’s need.

Caress the smooth neck


a palm can praise.

Smell mahogany


shaved and steamed,

fragrant as cinnamon.


Rake, slide, bend

tense strings,


make them breathe

each note.


Follow silver steel

over the bridge


from body to head,

each cord vibrating


when skilled hands

and callused fingertips


pick sweet equations

where practice becomes song.


Listen for a minor key,

all the patience and flesh


in the finish,

like a man


in my office

composing a life.


Dr Berlin has been writing a poem about his experience of being a doctor every month for the past 26 years in Psychiatric Times in a column called “Poetry of the Times.” He is instructor in psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts. His latest book is Tender Fences.


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