Off the Shelf, Poetry Thursdays
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“Behind”: A Poetic Reflection of the Beginnings of M1

The clock behind me ticks

As the seconds line up with the cicadas’ hiss,

I hear the children outside, and the cracks of sticks


My high school self speaks: “You should be at bliss!”

My classmates say, “Research secured!”

My loved ones far and near, those which I miss


Assignments procured

Like an avalanche, smothering the land

Of knowledge that has matured


The buzz of my phone, perhaps a lending hand?

No, just a friend who says, “only fifty more cards to go”

An arrogant boast, seemingly planned


I try to hunker down, but I know I’m slow

There must be another way, I think

Looking ahead at the weeks below


Now the leak begins, it starts with my sink

A merciless reminder — the clocks, the sticks, the phone, the water

And now, synchronous with it all, my blink


Back in undergrad I think, at my alma mater

These feelings existed, although at a different level

In med school how is everyone so ahead, must they all be plotters?


Forty-eight more hours, till I can revel

Before it starts again

The whispers of the devil


Telling me, “so when?”

Will I have my life together

The stress compounding, just wait … but then


I get a call from my mother, my tether

She tells me she’s proud

The words falling, like a feather


I think about my patients, my mind now in the clouds

And the good I’ll do

I think to myself: now speaking out loud


I am enough, as I start to review

I will go at my own pace

Persevere, push through


Because this is a journey, no, not a race

And it’s up to me

To finish strong, with grace.

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.

Shadman Ibnamasud Shadman Ibnamasud (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Medical College of Georgia

Shadman is a second year at the Medical College of Georgia in Athens, GA, class of 2024. In 2019, he graduated from The Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Minor in Biology. He enjoys trying new restaurants, gaming, and watching sports in his free time. After graduating medical school, he's thinking about pursuing Orthopedic Surgery, Internal Medicine, or Psychiatry (undecided).