Continuing with yesterday’s email from an  English prof, I have found a few poems related to medicine that I vividly remember writing.

I remember writing this when I realized that that I could never be a paediatrician. When I first thought of becoming a doctor, I thought of being a paediatrician because I did like working with young people. Once I had completed a rotation in paediatrics, however, I realized that it would be too difficult for me to care for children who were very sick.

I was disappointed in myself that I did not have the fortitude that this work required. This poem was the result. I never gave this poem a title. I’m not good at titles.

Small child,

this hospital bed is no place

for you –

and you know it!

Weak as you are,

You clutch an old doll

And try to get over the rail.

Traitor, I

would like to help you over

and run away

but instead I’ll rock you

and, later, when you’ve fallen asleep,

I’ll put you back in bed.


Someday, when I have the courage,

We’ll both run away.

(This is Caitlin, when she was a small child. I would have helped her run away. I have so much admiration for paediatricians – and children.)

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