Solitary Song by Patricia Cannon It was always strange seeing her walk down Francisco Boulevard. Her hips swaying like a beckoning wave while her vagrant legs dark and strong composed a solitary song of addiction. To a world of averted eyes and devouring mouths she had a face as hard as flint. To me, she was Mary, my best friend’s mother who sang Journey songs with us children and slept while we played. Her body curled in bed like a clenched fist. The same way she would position herself on bus stop benches and the way that her daughter told me that she was found. Her lifeless body on the bathroom floor. Her head tinged blue bowed over the edge of the tub with only a bent spoon and an empty syringe standing vigil at her last act of prostration to the Crystal God of Heroin.
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Patricia Cannon has been a Registered Nurse at UCSF since 2001. She has worked in cardiac critical care, neuro intensive care, hemeoncology, school nursing, and currently, in research. In the early days of the pandemic, she was redeployed to the CATCH team which stands for the Covid, Assessment, Treatment, Coordination Hub. This pilot was launched to help patients get much needed procedures and surgeries. Her passion is her faith, photography, and the written word in all its forms. Her poetry has appeared in several magazines and books.