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Juno's Song: Field Trip to the Health Education Museum RSS

Juno's Song: Field Trip to the Health Education Museum

08 April, 2017: Juno's Song: Field Trip to the Health Education Museum


by Cindy Washabaugh
Juno's Song: Field Trip to the Health Education Museum
Like the goddess, her name was Juno. Seven-feet-tall
and transparent, she displayed her brain, intestines,
even her uterus. Elbows back, she invited us to gaze
as she turned on her silver platform.  A static-y
voice, like a radio, floated I am Juno but her lips
were molded shut. Red and blue rivers of blood vessels
mapped her. When her spine ignited, the nerves
traveling her arms and legs flashed white, organs glowed
orange, then red, while she droned on like our librarian:
Here is my liver. And here, my pancreas. On my arm, blonde
hairs spiked up in the cold room. A brown mole starred
the shoulder of the girl next to me. Our muscles got round
when we moved so you knew they were there beneath
our skin. I traced the pale blue veins in my wrist, felt
blood beat against my fingers. Juno had none of this,
was as plain as a drink of water with her robot voice,
her thick body just a case to hold all her lit-up insides. 
Even her hair was clear plastic, crimped tight. Why
did they even name her, when she wasn’t
really anyone at all?

“Juno’s Song: Field Trip to the Health Education Museum,” by Cindy Washabaugh, from Sings the Body. Finishing Line Press, 2016. Used by permission of the author.
Cindy Washabaugh is a poet, community outreach specialist and organizational consultant who applies writing as a tool to support others in learning and self-development. She has a BA in psychology and an MA in English/creative writing and has taught creative writing for Cleveland State University. She develops and leads programs for groups and individuals. Her book, Collinwood: Who We Are, Where We Live, is the culmination of a writing project with community members ages 8 to 94. Her poetry chapbook is Sings the Body (Finishing Line Press).


Write an ode (a poem of praise) to a part of your body – liver, spleen, eardrum, foot. So many choices.

Ode to Eye
Oh beautiful, probing eye,
From whence I see the light.
How lovely is thy lens.
For when the darkness envelopes the bright,
Your iris of color widens.
A surprising display of insight.

Oh wondrous, charming eye,
Can show me truths and malaise.
How lovely is thy state.
For when a glint or gleam betrays,
Your fibbing be thy fate.
A magical gift to praise.

Oh roving, curious eye,
Let me examine the populous place.
How lovely is thy act.
For when I glance ‘bout the face,
Your pupil grows to react.
A flirty dance takes place.

Oh sad, melancholy eye,
I use you to heal my hurt.
How lovely is thy pity.
For when the salty wetness spurt,
Your blinking is so witty.
A calm cleansing of dirt.

Oh happy, joyous eye,
Shows me all things are warm.
How lovely is thy scope.
For when a twinkle starts to form,
Your spark brings such hope.
A window for the forlorn.
4/11/2017 9:01:03 AM


Spongy air-filled organs
exchanging gases - breathing
I draw breath to speak and tell you I love you
I inhale deeply to take in
your scent of bergamot and citrus
I breathe in to sing you your favorite song
I gasp when you surprise me
with cold hands from outdoors
I exhale softly - a sigh
when I am contented
4/10/2017 3:27:38 PM

Staight from the Gut

Thunder rolls inside
Lightning, nervous cannot hide
Calm seas forgive me
4/9/2017 8:00:32 PM

Carole Mertz
To My Feet

I skated to the music

of the waltz, one foot

slicing the ice, across

the other in speed

at the turn

No fillips in the air

but a twist to reverse

now and again

and frequent broad


At the last, arms

spread abroad

slicing through time

on one foot—pure

4/9/2017 3:34:26 PM

An Ode to My Hair

Chestnut brown hair
decorating my head
Always obeying my commands -
curl, straighten, lay back.

My mood often reflected
in the style I wear:
Hair down and flowing -
"Hello world, it's a great day."
Ponytail with pretty clips -
"Feeling serious and focused."
Knobbed and atop my head -
"Beware, stay away
This isn't going to be a good day."

My hair is my joy,
My favorite part of self.
How lucky, I know, am I
To possess a glorious
Mane of chestnut brown hair.
4/9/2017 2:38:07 PM

Chantelle Brady
Ode to Pinkie Toe

You whom makes me unique,
Stretches out past the stars.
Farther than all
who would challenge you.

You may be little,
but you are strong.
Thank You for keeping me

You are crooked
and hard to paint
but easy to trim
and to clean
because you are talented.
4/8/2017 11:42:13 PM

N. K. Hasen
Ode To My Brain

Oh, you squishy grey brain matter
You are the one that controls all
Thoughts, memories store within your folds
I find you full of ideas you compute out to me
I praise the intellect that I share with you
I am glad for the math, puzzle brain you are
I find solace when I talk out loud to you
When I feel down and blue
Like a computer you are the hard drive
churning, processing all that goes on
You are my own, unique brain for which love
I thank you for all that have been given to me
4/8/2017 6:51:19 PM

Linda Nemec Foster
History of the Hand
for Frank Niemiec

History of the ditch digger, stone mason, countless men in factories, on the line. History of abundance, of miracles because it is by our hands that we become who we are. "Marry a man for his hands," my father said. Probably remembering his own father and the mangled right hand that was torn in half by the machine at the woolen mill. But what did the old man know about machines? He was a foreigner who couldn't speak the language, a peasant farmer born in Poland when it wasn't even called Poland. His hands knew only two things: black earth and how to coax the miracle of green from it. Each spring he would perform the miracle in his small American garden. His left hand did the mundane chore of clearing the winter's debris, breaking the ground with hoe and shovel and pickaxe. His right hand--that terrible, wondrous hand--performed the ultimate magic: placed each seed in its proper spot, made sure it grew into a cabbage or pepper or summer squash. I remember how carefully he would wash that hand after the day's work. Pat it dry. Place it almost casually on my shoulder. Luminous, enchanted.
4/8/2017 11:50:16 AM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.