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As I take off my glasses
and rub my sore eyes
I realize I have
in more ways than one.

My neuroscience textbook is
wide open to page 251 where
light is electromagnetic energy and
the retina converts that into neural activity
and I stare at the diagram of the human eye
again and again
and again
until I let it sink in that the
macula is for central vision.

It’s midnight, though, and
the pizza hasn’t even come
yet, and the coffee is brewing
for a third cup.

There are fifty more slides
and fifty more diagrams
and fifty more chapters
and everything seems to blur
like cataracts.

I wonder to myself
is this really all worth it?

This shortness of sight
makes me unable to perceive
beyond the horizon, nor past the present
because all I’m thinking about
is what’s in front of me:
the next test, the next exam,
my body feels burned out already.

But closing my eyes,
my mother’s words echo in my mind:
things may be out of focus for now
but see the bigger picture,
envision a brighter future,

And fix your eyes on the things unseen
for what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.

There’s more to life than
blood and bones,
than using an ophthalmoscope.
Everyone needs healing
and I need to cling onto the hope
that my work right now
has a purpose.

Amidst pizza and cold coffee
I open my eyes
and with the hem of my shirt
I clean my glasses
shining anew,

And I turn the page to 252,
refreshed to understand
hyperopia too.

When the door closes
and it’s just me with the patient
face to face,
I know it will all have been
worth it.

Anna Delamerced Anna Delamerced (12 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University

Anna Delamerced is a fourth-year medical student at Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island class of 2021. She graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts in public health. She enjoys writing poetry and is passionate about advocating for kids as a future pediatrician.