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DNR


20

still

except

her chest rising, falling

tubes in her mouth

fluid moving in messy lines

over her edematous body

10

silent

except

glass door opening, closing

monitor alarms beeping

hurried footsteps

of her nurse

0

asystole

her nurse says

to the doctor

in a voice

as flat as the static line

on the monitor

0

silent

except

the doctor’s steady footsteps

light flashing in glassy eyes

final gesture to the RT

ventilator 

off

 

still

her livid body

alone in a dark room

no more beepings

no more lights

silent 

 

still

 

Image Credit: “A portrait of death in modern America” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Niels_Olson


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.


Margaret Yau (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

University of California, Riverside School of Medicine


Margaret is a fourth-year medical student at University of California, Riverside School of Medicine, class of 2022. She has a Master of Science in computer science from University of California, San Diego and a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and computer sciences from University of California, Berkeley. After graduating medical school, Margaret would like to pursue a career in psychiatry, with a focus on the prevention/early intervention of psychiatric disorders and innovations in mental health. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, music, and ballet.