Off the Shelf, Poetry Thursdays
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The Stairway

Climbing the steps one foot at a time
He fell short of just one.
But it is a part of the paradigm
So I convince him that his journey is far from done.

I tell him the chances will still flow
And to keep the dreams I know he will conquer
But he wonders where he can go
And how he can focus with life like a blur.

I remind him of his special ways with the crying babies
Of the smiles from the children
And the laughs from the teens.
They all agree that he is one in a million.

He has climbed so high
But focuses on the crack below
Rather than the open sky
That is sure to embrace his wonderful glow.

At times we are our harshest critic
And our own worst enemy.
Why must we wait until we are grey and arthritic
To see that self-love is the best remedy?

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.

Lisa Schwartz Lisa Schwartz (3 Posts)

Contributing Writer

UC Riverside School of Medicine

Lisa is a fourth year medical student at UC Riverside. She completed her bachelor's degree at UC Santa Barbara in biopsychology with a minor in English. She enjoys hiking, backcountry camping, and cooking plant-based meals.