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That Is Love

Allyson Brown

In class they ask me
What is love?
To prompt a philosophical discussion.

I know what love is.

Love is
You, sitting beside him in the exam room
He slouches in on himself
Skin wrinkled and grey
Eyes defeated

You look decades younger than him
Your feet firmly planted
Spine erect
Prepared for the onslaught

You answer the physician’s questions
With a smile
You laugh at the jokes
Gently tease.

But when the physician turns away
I see you
As the smile falls to sadness
Tenderness etched in the set of your mouth

In the way your glasses fog
As you blink the tears away
The brave soul
Trying everything to gain a few more
Weeks, days, moments
On this slow spiral to the end

And then he turns to you
And you smile again
Your hand gently smoothing the wrinkles
From his mussed shirt

That is love.

Allyson Brown (5 Posts)


University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Allyson is a first year medical student at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando, FL. She graduated in 2012 from the University of Southern California with a degree in neuroscience. She is interested in pursuing a career in pediatric critical care or emergency medicine. Outside of school, Allyson enjoys photography and anything chocolate. Fall weekends find her loudly cheering on her alma mater’s football team.