At 5 a.m. the alarm clock rings
His eyes peel open, he can’t see a thing
And he doesn’t know what today will bring
But his sleep is broken.
He gets to the hospital at half past five
A coffee to help him revive
Slowly he starts to come alive
When suddenly a scream is heard.
A child is seen covered in red
The nurses rush him to a bed
His mother stares with no words said
For her heart is broken.
The doctor races to the scene
His composure calm and his senses keen
Another patient to be seen
And it’s not even 6 a.m.
The doctor works, the boy turns blue
His hands so steady, his methods true
But there’s nothing left that he can do
And the world seems broken.
He finds the mother all alone
A sincere hug and a calming tone
She leaves the hospital on her own
But the warmth of the doctor is with her.
He takes a deep breath, but no time to rest
The doctor knows that he did his best
And despite the tightness in his chest
He is unbroken.
Author’s note: This is my second submission to the medical humanities journal my medical school recently started called be Still. The purpose of be Still is to connect medical students and other members of the health care field to literature, photos and other works that portray life as a medical professional. These pieces can help give us a better look at the struggles that are not often discussed and remind us of the necessity to be humane and compassionate. “Unbroken” is a short, powerful poem describing some of the all too familiar difficulties that students and physicians face in the hospital and medical field as a whole.