Off the Shelf, Poetry Thursdays
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There Is No Sound

There is no sound

like that of a heart breaking.

Even to naive ears,

it is immediately


The sudden, shrill cry

that starts

a crack in the heart

and ends

a chasm in the eyes.

Tears like magma

surge along that chasm,

searing everything in their wake.

Pain echoes

in the dense, swollen air.

The cry rips her throat to pieces,

chases out the life from her weary lungs.

She draws a raspy breath

and again

and again

and again

she pours out her agony:

the chasm widens.

28-year-old male, GSW.

Was he a son?

A nephew?


bullet hole.

Another life stolen

too soon.

The cries diminish in volume

but not in strength;

molten pain flows quietly from her soul.

She will be taken to the family room:

an attempt in vain to contain her boundless sorrow.

Best to not disturb the others.

I move on with the rhythm of the day.

Another patient awaits.

Only for her

life will never be the same.

I went to school

to learn the sound of a heart


I did not expect to learn

the sound of a heart


Poetry Thursdays is an initiative that highlights poems by medical students and physicians. If you are interested in contributing or would like to learn more, please contact our editors.

Jennifer Luong Jennifer Luong (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

University of Rochester School of Medicine

Jennifer is a fourth year medical student at University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, NY. She graduated from University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and biochemistry. She enjoys hiking, writing, and traveling in her free time. After graduating medical school, Jennifer will pursue a career in emergency medicine.