Spring and All, Revisited (Again)

My mentors taught me anonymity,to be a blank screen, to reflectand hear the space betweenmy patients’words and their sighs,

My mentors taught me anonymity,
to be a blank screen, to reflect
and hear the space between
my patients’words and their sighs,
to notice the moment our eyes lost contact.
And when I had learned my lessons well,
I moved to a small-town hospital
where I drove to work one cold March morning,
like the time Doc Williams stopped
on his way to the contagious hospital
and called spring “a new world naked.”
Oh the secrets I heard before I peeled
off my white coat and crawled
through the water at the local pool,
my flesh cleansed in the chlorine water,
my last patient of the day soaping up
when I entered the shower, how he reached
through the spray for a handshake,
a new world, naked.