i come from:
not white coats and stethoscopes,
“I saw three red-tailed hawks the night before my wife died
I took that as a good sign.
They asked me if I wanted her to do the operation
with art-deco stained glass,
no preacher, no pastor, no doctor,
I couldn’t go to sleep that night until 2 a.m.
but I thought we had two doctors telling me to go ahead
and they must know what to do”
where people disappear
diagnosis never known
the only consult: prayer.
“She passed on twice during the operation”
i sit a stranger,
in lecture halls,
in patients’ rooms,
“Her heart stopped.
The third time they brought her back to life
she was kept alive by three machines.
They asked me what I wanted to do and
I said her living will didn’t want her to be
kept alive on three machines.”
so one day
i can translate to my patients
what my family missed.
“She’s the first one in our family that wants to be a doctor
and I’m proud of her.”
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.