Art & Poetry in Medicine, Clinical, Surgery
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Pondering the Human Experience: A Quartet of Poems

This manuscript was submitted to the April 2019 Arts in Medicine theme issue.

A Future Bone Doctor

To help a soul
To heal a wound
To hold a hand
To walk again
In days of wealth or its dearth
May we never lose sight of our path

To learn of people
To walk beside them
To make them better
To do no harm
I cannot save the world
But I will use these hands to mend with love

Cadaver Lab

We among the living
Seek to understand the dead
Their passage opens a world of life
Of suffering, survival, sickness, resiliency
At the beginning and end
We are the same
Hoping for a purpose
Lest to be in agony
Between, we endeavor
To spend our time so differently
We use your passing as a tool
And a window to our life
To heal those still bludgeoning through wakened days

Light (Retinal Tear)

Beneath the water
A tear so small, so slow
No noise is made
Wearing away the light
Indelible mark
A novice searches for danger
Seasoned hands stitch a solution
Time to scar
To see another morning

Dark Wind

Wind among the stars
Unfelt when only looking
Unseen when reaching to touch
Unsensed when closed to perception
Floating in the darkness of the sky
Silently gaining speed
Creating a storm
Great vortex of force
Led to its right place
To unleash power unlike before
What has the storm created?
When will the dark wind take you?

Image creditScalpel by Markus Grossalber licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Sarah V. Stelma, MD Sarah V. Stelma, MD (1 Posts)

Resident Physician Contributing Writer

Tufts University School of Medicine

I am an orthopaedic surgery resident at Tufts University School of Medicine. I have been writing poetry since middle school, and this outlet has helped me reflect and process life's challenges, including finding my way in medicine. I am excited to share my thoughts written from the past few years with the medical community through in-House. May they bring some new meaning for you.