the museum of americana

a literary review

Doctors Ben Casey and James Kildare Vie for the Devotion of Their Female Patients and Viewers — Poetry by Maria Terrone

 
Casey a guarded brooder who rarely smiled.
Super-competent, of course, seriously handsome,
aware of his maleness beyond the obvious
height, weight and muscle mass. And fearless
when needed–as he must have been,
we imagined, defending the injured and weak
on the streets of a gritty, unnamed city.
 
Kildare was his opposite: boyish and lean,
bright as his shoulder-buttoned scrubs,
he radiated hope—if not perfect health,
then the assumption of a better life beyond
the hospital. Off duty, he likely played golf
at a local country club.
 
My best friend and I never tired of arguing
the merits of our favorite.
I chose the one with the inner life
I couldn’t penetrate, unaware
that this, like a good plot device,
foreshadowed my future.
 
~ ~  ~

Maria Terrone is the author of A Secret Room in Fall (McGovern Award, Ashland Poetry Press); The Bodies We Were Loaned and the chapbook American Gothic, Take 2. Bordighera Press will publish her third poetry collection, Eye to Eye, in 2014. Her work, which has been translated into French and Farsi and nominated four times for a Pushcart Award, has appeared in magazines including Poetry, Ploughshares, Hudson Review, and Poetry International and in 20 anthologies.  She was one of 10 Queens-based writers commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum for its 2012 project, “sillspotting  nyc.” Learn more about Maria here.