Welcome to Sage Femme Press
 

About Sage Femme

Sage-femme is a term I first heard in Tunisia during the 1970s when I worked in international health. It translates from French to English as wise woman but is commonly used to refer to a traditional midwife. This double meaning has always appealed to me.

Sage Femme Press began in 1999 as a personal endeavor—a way to share my explorations of healing art as nurse, poet and essayist with readers both inside and outside the health professions

— Veneta Masson

Tony Brunswick - Golden Gate Bridge

Full Disclosure

Perform your medical duties calmly and adroitly, concealing most things from the patient while you are attending to him.

                                                       Hippocratic Decorum

Maybe they have it right—
those who say the truth is too strong
for a person who’s sick.

Look at it this way, full disclosure
means telling you that some illnesses
elude all cures

that each life has a span
and yours may be short 

that beneath the veneer of science
lies the bedrock
of uncertainty

that medical research 
is not rocket science,
it’s infinitely more complex

that experts, like search engines,
traffic in theory, conjecture,
shaky data and sometimes outright hoax.

Now the good news:
you may recover despite stiff odds
the body is smarter than you can imagine

the world of health care
has fixers and healers—
what one can’t do the other can

This is the truth.
If you’re the sick person, sign below
to acknowledge receipt.

    —Veneta Masson
    —Photograph © Tony Brunswick

 

More poems

Animations on YouTube

 

Workshop (audio, 43")

Clinician's Guide to the Soul  

 Veneta Masson, sponsored by the Maine Humanities Council