Off the Shelf, Poetry Thursdays
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Head in Our Hands

Take him to the ICU,
Trauma, Level 1, coming from just outside of triage.
The bullet went straight through, right above his ear and clean out the other side.

The resident flees from the elevator, with his head in his hands. We need to stabilize him,
Nurses rush in and out of the ICU room, as blood continues to cascade down his neck.
Close the door! I need a flush! We need blankets! What’s his pulse?
Everybody needs to calm down!

We need more hands. Someone apply pressure to his head,
My fingers tremble as I press them firmly against his skull, with his head in my hands.
I stare into the young man’s vacant face, as I desperately wish to push hard enough
To return his mind, memories, and thoughts that were encased in his skull just moments ago.

His mother and father want to see their son. We need to get them in here,
Dad falls to the floor, bawling inconsolably, with his head in his hands.
Why did this happen, what happened to my son?
Mom insists he’s a strong boy, and he’ll get through this, right, Doctor?
She furiously demands to know why he won’t.
You can’t do anything else?! You’re saying this is goodbye?!

Go home, it’s late, you’ve seen a lot.
Driving home, with the radio drowned out by the still audible
Cries of parents who lost their son tonight.
I pull over, with my head in my hands.

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

Alexia Jauregui Alexia Jauregui (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Texas Tech Health Sciences Center

Alexia Jauregui is a third-year medical student at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in El Paso, Texas class of 2021. In 2016, she graduated from the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley with a Bachelor of Science in biology. After graduating medical school, Alexia is passionate about ultimately serving a border community as a Med-Peds-trained primary care physician.