Off the Shelf, Poetry Thursdays
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An Oath To Cancer


You are the claimer of lives every day and night:
You plague on until all life is completely gone.
But worse, you steal purpose from those lost in the fight.

To me, you are a traitor and a sordid thief.
We share ancestry, yet you rot them from within.
You hoard life as if it only belonged to thee.

Yet, I thank you for the impotence you gave me–
You showed me the mystery that comes from within.
An enigmatic spirit that has set me free. 

I wage war on you for you have let my eyes see;
I respect you, for you hold true to your decree.
But, I fight for those who lost purpose to your creed.


Poetry Thursdays is a weekly newsletter that highlights poems by medical students and physicians. This initiative is led by Slavena Salve Nissan at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. If you are interested in contributing, please contact Slavena.


Pompeyo Quesada (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine


Mr. Quesada is a medical student at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. Formerly, a Medical Student Researcher at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in the Department of Clinical Cancer Prevention. He is a former trainee of the Medical Student Summer Fellowship Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and of the Cancer Prevention Research Training Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He attended The University of the Incarnate Word where he graduated with a BS in Biology and conducted neuroscience research.