There is something about lighting a match.
Such power and awe,
Something that might catch a stronghold —
Make it fall.
Maybe it is holding destruction in your fingers
Or igniting something larger:
Creating a scar that lingers.
Maybe fire resembles human life,
Consuming oxygen in exchange for CO2.
It flickers and dances:
Red, yellow and neon blue.
The fire could suffocate me–
Night and day,
Or show me my path–
Light my way.
Yet, medicine is a match:
A trigger, a spark.
Something that can snatch away life
Like a criminal at a park.
But it can also kindle life
Just as scholars are never done with Donne,
We are rediscovering the hypocrisy of Hippocrates.
How life requires death to begin.
How death overwhelms life: the inevitable end.
However, with the match of medicine we enliven,
Quicken those in need;
Turn captives into the freed,
With the hungry, we feed.
Medicine is sweet,
As the sun creates sugar inside leaves.
As I hold this match,
Ready to strike,
Ready to catch,
I shake with its power,
Knowing that hour after hour
This gift of medicine
Can do evil and good.
So, with compassion and Truth,
I will achieve all the healer could.
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.