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A Nation on My Shoulders

Failure was never an option for me.

Every time I fail…
I am reminded that I have let my country down.

My ancestors, who worked as slaves in the sugarcane industry
on an unfamiliar island.

My grandfather, who passed before reaping the fruits of his labor
in an unfamiliar country.

My parents, who worked as immigrants to make ends meet
in an unfamiliar continent.

In failure I disappoint a community,
a country,
that rests on my shoulders.

My ancestors blood runs through my body
& this serves as a reminder
that I cannot surrender.

Image Credit: Drawing by author Neha Deo.

Poetry Thursdays is an initiative that highlights poems by medical students. If you are interested in contributing or would like to learn more, please contact our editors.

Neha N Deo Neha N Deo (6 Posts)


Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine

Neha Deo is a fourth year medical student at the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Rochester, MN class of 2023. In 2018, she graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with Distinction. She enjoys working out, keeping up to date on high fashion culture, and spending time with friends. After graduating medical school, Neha would like to pursue a career in dermatology and engage in global health education and research to create opportunities for Fijians like herself.

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