Off the Shelf
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Autopsy of a Child

It’s a brief coming-going ghostly meeting.
The tiny form bereft of life so fleeting.
Eyes, like thin rings of stone, two
dry pomegranates, parched black dew.
So still, with a soul fixed colder,
untimely severed ne’er fading older.
Grieved, naïve, yet seeming wise,
the ash-sad dusty doll vacant lies
with mimic-mien, and quickened guise.
A scalpel-split red reading frame
seeps voices quickly smothered, slain.
Probing for a tale at doubt’s behest,
with hope-dread, for foul or fair witness.
But either grim reply fails those who mourn
Lifting lightly the anguish-burden borne.

Erin Baumgartner (3 Posts)

Contributing Writer

University of Louisville School of Medicine

Erin is a Class of 2016 medical student. She has a B.A. in English. She took a year off before medical school to work as a Emergency Medicine scribe, and to learn how to make cupcakes from scratch. She enjoys discovering the story-telling inherent in every patient encounter.

  • Brent Schnipke

    Erin – a moving poem. Your word choice really brings the whole piece to life! Was this based off an experience you had?

    • Erin Baumgartner

      Yes. This was based off an experience I had shadowing in the ME’s office for a Pathology elective. Thank you for your appreciation!