5:00 am, the first day on the night shift, / six deliveries completed and only one hour remains. / A call from the nurse says the patient in 14 is five centimeters dilated, / and so we enter the room to rupture her membranes.
The clock strikes midnight and just like that, / she’s been laboring for 10 hours as expected, / time flies when you can’t feel contraction pain.
Failure was never an option for me. // Every time I fail… / I am reminded that I have let my country down.
Send us the broken, the battered, / “give me your tired, your poor,” / your torn and tattered.
Just a five-year-old kid / Yet always in and out of the hospital, / Since her first beautiful breath / Through each breath after, / With her life-giving / Yet ever-faltering lungs.
Your bones are beautiful / And your bruises are art
I wish it were different — / Dying patients, struggling hospitals, overworked health care workers, / topsy-turvy economies, politicized safety precautions, and the / uncertainty / of tomorrow.
We sit in a clumsy ring / under fluorescent lights, / halfway into the allotted one hour / before we realize that we are having / a conversation born a whole decade ago.
so one day / i can translate to my patients / what my family missed.
She’s overwhelmed with options, can’t even remember what they were, / so we decide to move on and talk about what family problems bother her.
Engaging strangers with kind eyes rather than tender faces, / Air hugs rather than warm embraces, / Family Zoom calls rather than face-to-face visits.
For all the things we read in one day — / from CT scans to emails, / toxicology reports and lab results