by Joanna White


The minutes click like diamonds

in the room with two clocks.

From me, she pries words like pearls

from an oyster’s grip,

nacre’s luster deflecting

the light. I do not want

to tell her what lies at the core––

sharp as an eyelash––encased

in layers of milky pink,

shellacked. I assure her

the center is clear as the heart

of a glass-blown ball.

But how do you think a pearl

                is formed? she asks.

Joanna White has works published in The Examined Life Journal, Ars Medica, Healing Muse, Abaton, American Journal of Nursing, The Intima, Earth’s Daughters, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, MacGuffin, Cape Rock, Chariton Review, Pulse, Temenos, Measure, Naugatuck River Review as a finalist in their poetry contest, and in the Poetry and Medicine column of JAMA. She gives poetry readings at conferences (including a full-session reading at the 2016 Examined Life Conference at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine) and performs and records as an orchestral and chamber music flutist.

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