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Worried Well

One step and then another;
the end is near! The end is nearly here!
And yet, it is not. Not yet near.
So, I carry on, though I am weary,
though my telomeres shorten or because my telomeres shorten,
I carry on for now.
Truncated but still somehow whole,
truncated, I stand in compressed halls where we all carry on.
How are you? I am well.
Of course, I am well. Can’t you tell?
The weary well. I am one. One of many not quite undone.
But one by one, we are each undone.
No way to outrun,
so, we simply carry on.
If only you could hear my soliloquy,
the onset of worried thoughts in my head, that is well.
If I weren’t well, who would know?
Would I know?
I know that I am weary,
worn down by studies, worn down by steps,
these steps that I must take, for that is what I’ve been told.
How can one so weary care well for others?
About this I sometimes worry.
Well, I must try.
I try to be well and not worry,
internally disheveled, externally composed,
freshly-pressed white coat, pockets filled with sanitized pens,
shelves overflowing with reference books,
shelf after shelf, wave after wave.
I am not drowning.
I have decided that I am well —
though it is true that I sometimes worry.
And that worry sometimes makes it hard to breathe or think.
Each day, I dream about the next day,
a bright, new day without worries,
the day when I am well.

Image credit: “Happiness on a roll” (CC BY 2.0) by StickerGiant

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.

Melissa Huddleston Melissa Huddleston (10 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine

Melissa Huddleston is a fourth-year medical student at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso, Texas class of 2023. In 2016, she graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Science in informatics and a secondary major in classics. In 2018, she graduated from Baylor University with a Master of Public Health in community health education. She enjoys hiking, jumping rope, and reading. After graduating from medical school, Melissa would like to pursue a career in pediatrics.