so one day / i can translate to my patients / what my family missed.
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
Chief complaint: arm pain, / Waiting in room 4. / As I enter, he looks me up and down — / What is it he’s looking for?
A scalpel, a corpse — / His beard is neat, his eyes are / Empty. Gloves hide clammy hands / Afraid of what awaits beneath
You call me on a Thursday to tell me / You were diagnosed with leukemia in October.
Investigate. / Deeper, / deeper, / deeper: / To a depth of understanding beyond understanding.
I sit in the classroom, / staring blankly at the wall. / The professor has gone off once again, / regaling a story of some elderly patient’s fall.
Never committed a crime, / but now I feel like a prisoner. / Trapped in our minds, / our spirits leashed, / our existence wanders among these all too familiar walls.
Wake up a 5:00 a.m., / Cannot afford to be late. / It’s my first day of preclinical shadowing, / I want my first impression to be great.
I didn’t know / many can’t / sip coral pulpy bitter / juice from narrow glasses.
A loud cry as we enter the world. / A silent cry as we depart.