DIVING IN THE MOON
HONORING STORY, FACILITATING HEALING
To The New Caregiver
|© Mike Seliger
This poem evolved from a lengthy correspondence between Mike Seliger and Phyllis Blackstone. Phyllis was frustrated by the mechanically proficient but personally distant performance of tasks by care-persons at a nursing home where one of her loved ones was in residence. She initially wanted to send an angry, critical letter, but after several exchanges, she “commissioned” the writing of an appropriate communiqué. This poem has now been shared with nursing home leadership in Maine and used in several locations as part of staff training.
Dear Imperfect Florence Nightingale…
You are the vital link
Your skilled hands perform tasks
It is not in your job description,
But I do wish you could do a little more…
Look into my eyes and smile
You may never quite see it,
Mike Seliger is the Chair of The Healing Story Alliance’s Executive Committee. He holds a doctorate from The City University of New York in Sociology and has also studied mime, clowning, and storytelling. A retired Dean for Planning at Bronx Community College, Mike has devoted most of his life to community organizing and empowerment through education. He has written and edited extensively as editor of Mime Times, the New York Storytelling Center Newsletter, Broadway Local Community Newspaper and more.