Weighing the Heart by Degna Stone
Weighing of the Heart charts the harrowing journey of a patient with a life threatening heart condition: in this case, the patient is the poet’s husband. Step by step, we accompany her through the procedures and treatment, share the familiar loneliness of the more or less helpless bystander when someone we love moves into the care of others. Degna Stone has a sharp eye for the details that stick in the mind, the hyper sensitivity to each breath and heart beat is beautifully conveyed. She combines intense feeling with a lack of sentimentality: she observes, notes, records as she waits in hospital corridors, inside her car: we are aware of the colours in the dress she is wearing, the smells of summer barbecues, the sensation, now familiar to all of us, of applying hand gel. We are drawn intimately into her present, holding our breath as we await the results of intricate surgery.