The Art of Healing is a fitting title for this volume that demonstrates that healing is, indeed, an art. It could also be called The Art of Loving because the love between Charles and Gail is palpable and inspring. And it could be called The Art of Living, for it contains wise examples of how to be alive to each moment. As in the poem, “Prognosis,” which begins with the wonderful line, So, you are not dying today, and goes on to make real the actuality of the day: the open mouths of trees…the fog, the fields, the sea birds…circling overhead. Or in the poem, “After Chemo,” which begins, It is what it is, and describes the green sheen of tree moss in winter rain, growing outside the window because it can. There is such tenderness in these poems. When they both shave their heads, they think about how their parents must have once held their bald infant heads and admired how like/heavy fruit we felt, and wondered who was waiting/inside these…elegant bony domes. Charles and Gail Rudd Entrekin allow us to look inside and see who is there. And in seeing them, we see ourselves.
Gail is a poet, editor, publisher, teacher, quilt maker and hiker. Books of her poems include John Danced (1988), You Notice the Body (1998), Change (Will Do You Good) (2005), which was nominated for the Northern California Book Award, and Rearrangement of the Invisible, (2012). Her newest collection, The Art of Healing, written with her husband, Charles Entrekin, was published in 2016.