This piece is my attempt to highlight the body as the warrior for the spirit. In every situation of suffering that I have witnessed, the body asserts itself as a force for life. I am convinced that despair often comes with physical pain and that comforting the suffering body is what makes way for praise. I am especially drawn to the power of the human foot, which is the element of praise in my poem. The body in despair is often curled and tight and touching the foot with compassion and love is a way to honor the suffering person, to praise the body’s struggle to live and in doing so, one often sees the body uncurl, open out and release the suffering spirit.
Mary Jane is the author of Beautiful Unbroken: One Nurse’s Life (2011, Graywolf).