Art & Poetry in Medicine, Featured
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Graduation gown: shiny, matching cap
She looks up
With aspirations
In the direction
Of where she wants to go

Short white coat: crisp, pockets empty
She looks up
At the steep climb
That is ahead of her

Short white coat: full of notes, lists
She looks up
To remind herself
Of where she is going
Why she is climbing

Short white coat: dirty, notes in the trash instead of the pockets
She looks up
For someone to remind her
Of where
Of why

Short white coat: abandoned on the chair, heart open
She looks up
She needs help
She prays
She cries

Long white coat: crisp, pockets full, this time with pens, tools
She looks up
For she knows
There is someone
Looking down

She is always moving forward
The pace is more comfortable now

But it is nice to remember, still
Where you are headed

She looks up
She reaches
She climbs

When you walk straight through the atrium of the Cleveland Museum of Art from the North entrance, through the double doors at the far side of the atrium, past the Prints and Drawings, and make a left into the Near Eastern Art collection, you will find the Stargazer. You might also find a young doctor regarding the piece as if it is revealing to her a story. The story grows, adding a new chapter each time she visits the Stargazer. But she must start from the beginning each time — listen again, remember — from the previous visits.  She must first remember what the Stargazer showed her before — where she started, where she left off — to learn where she is now and where she is going.

Image credit: Statuette of a Woman: “The Stargazer.” Early Bronze Age, Western Anatolia. 3,000 B.C. Sculpture, marble. The Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, OH.

Alex Bonner, MD Alex Bonner, MD (1 Posts)

Resident Physician Contributing Writer

Cleveland Clinic Children's

Alex is a resident in child neurology at the Cleveland Clinic. She received her Bachelor’s in neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh and her medical degree at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She is a reader of science fiction, a drinker of bourbon, a neuroanatomy nerd and a dog mom, in no particular order.