Off the Shelf, Poetry Thursdays
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The Cost

There is a darkness that lingers above.
Alive and breathing,
Short shallow breaths.
Full of sickness,
It appears before me.

As I walk into these hospital rooms, 
I wonder…
What is the cost
To these precious little ones —
The cost of days in their lives?
Some have only a few
To spend away from this place.

The light shines through the window —
A beacon of life.
I tell his mother, 
“He will be here for several days, maybe weeks.”
She asks, 
“Must we stay? He just came home Monday.”
With bacteria in his blood,
We must treat and observe
Her five-month-old.
He lived in the hospital longer than he was in the womb.

What is the cost
To his development, 
To his parents, 
To his twin?
Yet, to send them home,
The cost might be his life.

That is the true darkness
That lingers behind my words.

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.

Kelly Wigglesworth Kelly Wigglesworth (4 Posts)

Contributing Writer

University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine

Kelly Wigglesworth is a third-year medical student at the University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine class of 2022. In 2016, Kelly received a Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in classical humanities from Biola University in La Mirada, California. Throughout her life, she has been an adventure-seeker and lover of all living things. In the moments between clinics and research, Kelly gardens, runs, paints, writes poetry, and flees to the mountains to snowboard or hike. She loves God and is passionate about recognizing the spiritual and psychological elements of health: both in the medical field and through poetry. Upon graduation, Kelly plans to become a pediatrician.