Kudos to MSN FNP student Terra Beek, who had her poem “Pause” published in the spring issue of Health and Humanities Journal.
Well done, Terra!
Finely pressed scrubs? Check.
Brand spankin’ new stethoscope? (do I wear it around my neck? nah, pocket is fine.) Check.
Pharmacology pocket book? Check.
I lift my hand to knock again when I hear—
“Come in,” a faint, barely audible voice echoes.
I open the door.
There is a solitary ray of light.
I stiffen up, eyes alit with eagerness and with a smile say,
“I am your nurse today, is there anything you need right now?”
[Whew, went just as practiced.]
She glances out the window.
She responds, “Nothing you can help me with, dear.”
I deflate. Her weary eyes tell a tale.
A tale beyond my overstuffed scrub top,
With a crisply new pocket medicine book, or shiny penlight…
There is silence. No one moves.
Two people, two stories.
She stirs! I exhale…Her hand moves to reveal—
And everything is illuminated.
No shiny textbook can explain the human response
And I became present.
And so we sat, hand in hand, together in one long
*This poem is dedicated to my very first patient, who taught me lessons beyond a textbook.