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deus ex miraculum


My daughter is a doctor.

If your parents were not eaten away by
failed ambitions and childhood dreams,
you would not be a doctor today.

When your father’s mother dies, your mother does not cry.
She shuffles in the kitchen, rearranging jars of spices,
and your father cries until his vacation hours from work
are eaten away like his heart.

His inheritance weighs on his chest, pain that a pill and a power nap
can only temporarily relieve. It is not enough
to love. His mother’s gold locks him in an American dream
that matches the dark blue of twilight.

The family vacation is not canceled.
With your busy residency schedule, it just couldn’t be.

Barcelona
where he sees his mother’s wedding sari in the color of the sand.
In high tide, the waters reclaim it.
Where the words of Catalans were suppressed, then forgotten, his pain is not.
(August 17, 2017. 14 dead.)

and/or

Turku
(August 19, 2017. 2 dead.)
The knife is not in their hearts but in his stomach.
Where marketplaces remind him of “I’ll buy the ball for you”
(Though your father will hit me for it.)

The hemoglobin red balloon that his mother bought for him
struggled under her fingers, so she released it into the wild.
The balloon roosts and swells in his chest.

(Un)stable angina, the doc says.
I’m a little worried that you didn’t notice, the doc tells you.
Nitrostat, rest — that’s all you need, the doc says.
He needs to lose weight, the doc tells you.

It’s a miracle, Dad says.

I should have known. I should have seen
the signs.
There are no miracles in medicine, just —
It’s a miracle,
you tell him.

My daughter is a doctor.

Rachna Shah (2 Posts)

Pre-Medical Guest Writer

Dartmouth College


My name is Rachna Shah, and I am an incoming pre-med undergraduate at Dartmouth College where I plan to pursue health economics and healthcare reform. I am the COO of Bridge the Divide, where I use my words as a platform for change and responsibility, encouraging and enabling youth to stay informed and active in the political arena. I am also a writer and editor for several literary and political magazines, including Young Minds, The Weekly Buzz, and Her Campus.