. . . we’d sliced his chest cavity open during our dissection, rendering his beating heart clearly visible. He was pinned to a small tray and covered with a cheesecloth. I brought him home in a shoe box on a sparsely populated school bus, and placed him carefully on the coffee table in the living room.
If the above excerpt sounds like it’s lifted from the intimate memoirs of a torturer, it’s not. It’s from the May Reflections essay, “The Soul on the Head of a Pin,” which is written by Marcy Phipps (for the nicest version, click through to the PDF once you’ve reached the article at our Website). Marcy is a nurse who uses a simple, elegantly rendered childhood story to explore the sometimes unnerving gap inside every nurse between the roles of objective scientist and compassionate healer. -JM