The poems and stories in this collection provide a vision of life through the eyes of an emergency physician and Vietnam War veteran, reflecting not only on those dramatic experiences but also on parenting, the disintegration of a marriage on a surrealistic roller coaster somewhere in Mexico, homes in a snow storm, reminiscences of relatives, and much more.
“Like William Carlos Williams, Edwards brings the wisdom of the clinic to these lyrical poems and gritty short stories.”
– Joseph J. Fins, MD, FACP, Chief, Division of Medical Ethics, Weill Medical College of Cornell University.
“This is a marvelous collection of poems and short stories. I have read it six or seven times, always with deep pleasure. In an age of hyperbole and phoniness, Frank J. Edwards creates images and narratives that ring true, yet reveal life to be more interesting than we realized.
“Even if we have seen hundreds of TV shows about emergency departments, Edwards’ story “It’ll Ease the Pain” paints a portrait of one doctor’s 24-hour stint that is fresh and unforgettable.
The short story “Cadillac in the Driveway” captures the hope and anguish of growing up with an incompetent parent. My soul aches every time I read the story.
“Edwards’ poetry is mesmerizing — a form of magic. For example, in the poem “Several Days Before Christmas,” an emergency doctor gives advice on how to tell people that a loved one has died. The advice is simple, but in Edwards’ hands, it becomes a poignant literary gem.
In another poem, the opening lines demonstrate the power and economy of Edwards’ poetry:
On thirty day leave from the Army,
next stop Vietnam,
I boilermakered myself bellicose,
and finally a cop arrived.
“This book is filled with fascinating vignettes, delivered gracefully by a master wordsmith. ”
– H. H. Gregory, Asheville, NC
“There’s a wonderful, quiet noise at work here, more about the heart than the mind. By drawing us into these 23 pieces, the author connects with the reader on a deep but accessible & personal level. It’s the pain (mental & physical) & struggles & hopes of everyday people that dominate this collection, along with the possibility that life might occasionally offer a form of relief along the way, sometimes by way of humor.
“If you’d like to be wondrously entertained, while at the same time be compelled to, heaven forbid, think, then read it. Who knows, it may, at least temporarily, ‘ease the pain.’ ”
– Paul Desormeaux, Rochester, NY
“The style of short stories and poems in this book is a style I have not experienced before. A tad confusing at times, until you are done reading … then you ponder, and suddenly, you feel immersed in the center of his thoughts, his stories, his experiences. And then you feel yourself smile or perhaps a heaviness in your heart … or even a tear in your eye. He vividly brings to life his experiences as a young boy, a pilot in Vietnam, and an ER doctor in rural America.
“Don’t miss this … ”
– Valerie G. Aarne, Rochester, NY