Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Fires Always Come Back

Years ago, I asked
the wise Dr. Warren:
“in therapy, what happens
when the insurance money
runs out?”

She smiled
to soften the truth
spoke in jest:
“We say,
it looks like
the patient
is cured.”

This week
Sarah graduates
from her
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday
at the world famous medical clinic,
and at least this time
the therapists spoke the truth:

“The insurance company
believes she’s met
enough of her goals
and they don’t want to pay
for any more.”

At best,
every therapy has only
given her two-thirds
of what she’s ever needed:
they spray water
on the fire,
but never actually
extinguish the flame.

The fires always
come back.

So, on Thursday
I’ll proudly celebrate
her hard work
for the past eight weeks,

and reconvene
the search
for a therapist who can
complete that missing third,
for the faith
to believe a miracle
is still pointed
in her direction.

[Note: Lest anyone misinterpret, I am totally grateful and thankful for the compassionate and skilled mental health providers at The MEND Outpatient program in Loma Linda, California.  In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, please consider making a donation to Loma Linda University at]


  1. Thanks for your kind comment De, I accidentally deleted it, but I do appreciate your encouragement. Butterfingers Moskowitz

  2. This was just lovely.. :D these lines struck me:
    She smiled
    to soften the truth
    spoke in jest:

    I think it was a wonderful donation to Loma Linda University..!
    Well penned..!

  3. To be stuck there between a policy and the needs to really solve it is a real tragedy...maybe we should be thankful for not having to deal with the insurance companies...

    1. I"m thankful for what we got - it just wasn't everything, which would have helped more.

  4. Excellent poem! I love the clarity and restraint.

    I believe in miracles and join my prayers to yours.

  5. Maybe this time the fire won't come back...

    Bare truth in a most beautiful form.

  6. So difficult, but sounds like you are doing all the best--and that in itself is hugely inspiring. The best of all luck, and thanks. k.

    1. Thanks so much, yes a step into the future, blindly in faith.

  7. Oh this is just so true and on the edge of harrowing. Interesting too, your lines about extinguishing fire... sometimes we talk about fire as something to be tended, something we don't ever want to lose, at the core of us. So this is especially powerful. And also just the real of it, I will be thinking of you and Sarah.

  8. Lest any wide-eyed innocent believe the world isn't run by the all-mighty dollar...

    Don't delete me, Butterfingers! :-D

    la la to da Mosk

  9. Cure is so seldom a defining single event, more of a process ongoing--I've watched several loved ones enter those doors, and though the fires come back, indeed, sometimes they do get taught how to put them out before everything is burned up again. Best wishes, and excellent poem.

    1. Thanks for the reminder that it is a process. Keep us in your prayers, if you do such things.

  10. My daughter is studying to be a psychologist - not a profession for the faint of heart. I have never personally sought the help of a therapist (though I have had enough cause in my life) but I believe it is a necessity rather than a luxury for many people.

    1. Yes, I'm an advocate for mental health and yes it is a necessity.

  11. There're too many technical policy-type-loopholes that can really work against the best interest of the individual and really the collective whole. You've captured a vivid piece of the larger puzzle here, Mosk...thank you.

    1. Thank you for your kindness and you're good wishes.

  12. I hope she can develop strategies to douse out the flames when they reappear or better still rid herself of the flames forever.

    1. Thank you, and yes I hope those things as well.

  13. Anonymous3:29 PM

    Apparently the trick to writing great poetry is to proclaim that you hate poetry.

    As far as therapy goes, I personally think it's better to bury your issues and put on a smile. Pretend it away, if you can. Therapy just opens up a can of worms, in my opinion.

    1. Thank you for the kind words. I like your idea of pretend it away. I have had great luck with one therapist, blah results with others. Writing is still the only therapy that helps.