In medical school I wrote a poem in honor of my cadaver, whom our anatomy professor introduced to us as our "first patient." I found the poem in a box in the basement during last week's excavations. It's strange to have this artifact now, after so much has happened - a window into what I was thinking at the very beginning of this journey in medicine.
I wrote it in voices, but that wasn't my idea; I was inspired by Paul Fleischman's book Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, which won the Newbery Medal in 1989.
The voices in the poem alternate for the most part but occasionally speak simultaneously, indicated by lines occurring on the same line or in the center. It's hard to read, and it's not great poetry, but the thoughts are genuine. It had no title when I first wrote it. (P.S. The photo above is indeed of the anatomy lab at my alma mater, New York Medical College...but it was just getting built when I was a student there! I do envy the lucky folks that got to take their anatomy course in that beautiful lab instead of the old one...)
Between you and me
my fears and my hopes
I am living
I have lived