Martina McGowan, MD, physician

Martina McGowan, MD, physician, poet, writer, artist, advocate, activist in the wars against social, racial, and sexual injustices. The author of i am the rage, February 2021, SourceBooks. Award-winner in the Social Change category of the 2021 International Book Awards. Her work can be found in several literary magazines and anthologies. She is also a poetry editor for The Elevation Review Magazine.

Nothing More to Say

Suddenly, a chill moves inside
Quietly, like last of the falling leaves
become the first gentle snows

This is the threshold it always steps across
Like an unwelcome guest with wet, muddy shoes
It’s also how I know the arctic frost
That the birth of disaffection has begun

Grief blended with loss fused with sadness
Floating just behind my eyes

I’ll not diminish our laughter or lessons
And, for a long time we did need each other
But I will also not lie to myself again

The ice will work its way into and through us
Devouring the love we once held
The sweet memories will fade
Like bits of wallpaper exposed to too much light
Then you too will slip into the void
Leaving a hollow I will carry forever

And though it comes to meet us slowly
This insidious blight cannot be stopped
I have tried in the past, and disaster still came
My heart always lobbies          for a better ending

We will be together for awhile
But in the end, you too will see
We had already slid through each other’s grasp

You simply took no notice
And there was nothing more to say
at the time

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A Sweeter Song

       -   After Ethridge Knight

You ask for sweeter songs
Better rhymes and lighter melodies
This impoverished heart cannot comply
For the truth is all I have on offer

Promises of light-filled days, remain empty
Provisional happiness, in short supply
Islands of joy and contentment
Floating in seas of doubt and disillusionment

I too dream of fresh breezes caressing my face
Walking white sands, chasing waves
Wallowing in fields of wildflowers,
Toes dipping carelessly into cool creeks
Basking in moonlight, beneath the stars

I await the opening of the asylum doors
Once again cosigning my sluggish freedom
Anxious to release the sorrow, the heartache
And watch them float away

Some other day, I shall sing to you of peace,
and love, and hope
One day, I shall write of beauty
But not this day…

Today, I am but a canary
Caught in a coal mine
Inhaling double doses of air
So that you may breathe

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