Off the Shelf, Poetry Thursdays
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One Step At A Time

My mind wakes up in the morning
Sweating with facts
For the archeological dig.

Tibia, tarsus, talus

I bend at my work,
Carefully digging through the fascia
To uncover the tendons, the muscles, the bones
Perfectly preserved
Not in stone and dust
But in the body. Someone’s body.

Tom, Dick and Harry — white, old men
Entering the tarsal tunnel

I see it wrapping around
The medial malleolus
Like a smooth pulley.
Pull, give, pull, give.
His foot gives a little nod to our game of marionette.

Plantar calcaneonavicular

The spring in our step
Ligaments that save us energy,
Funneling it
To our greedy brains
To the realm of thoughts

Pes planus — flat feet
Pes cavus — bound feet

But the intricacies
That allow me to connect my bare feet to this earth
And walk forward,
They are within us.

No thinking required — we are created this way.

Knowledge ebbs and flows
Washes away
And bobs back to the shore of the mind.

But my feet are reliable.
They know what to do,
Grounding me in this world.

Poetry Thursdays is a weekly newsletter that highlights poems by medical students and physicians. This initiative is led by Slavena Salve Nissan at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. If you are interested in contributing, please contact Slavena.

Eileen Wang Eileen Wang (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Eileen is first year medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Before entering medical school, she studied global health and medical anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and did a Fulbright research fellowship in Hangzhou, China. Her research interests revolve around exploring issues of maternal-child health and reproductive rights. She enjoys reading, yoga, jogging in Central Park, and autumn weather.