Off the Shelf, Poetry Thursdays
Leave a comment

Thick Skin

They say to be tough is to have thick skin, but I say to have thick tears.

Skin? It can collect pimples, papercuts and pus, can be scratched, scraped and sliced.

Tears? We can barely catch them, not even with a tear cup. I learned in my 20s that not all mothers use one. When I was a kid, tiny paper cups would arrive, rushed over from their home at the bathroom sink, alternating cheek to cheek.

When we fall, skin breaks and bleeds, it rips and reveals our insides.

Then tears fall, come to help heal before skin can cover itself back up.

Our lids stay open to the world, the globe shying away only for a blink of an eye, protected by thin, persistent tears. The blues, greens, hazels and browns, even touches of greys or yellows, those most beautiful parts about us, are left exposed. Vulnerable, but so often unscathed.

You could say this is the weakest idea you ever heard. I’ll tell you I have thick skin.

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.

Benjamin Meyers Benjamin Meyers (4 Posts)


Thomas Jefferson University

Benjamin Meyers is a third-year medical student at Thomas Jefferson University. In 2015, he graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience. He enjoys watching Michigan sports, working on a podcast when he can, and reminiscing about the videos he used to make for Scientific American. In the future, Ben would like to be a medical correspondent.