• Dr. Dawn Harris Sherling

I want the world to stop spinning for a dying patient

I want the world to stop spinning for a dying patient.

Tell the colds and the stomach aches to go home.

They will get better anyway.

I had to tell someone they had cancer.

Too much of it to be cured.

And now I have twenty more patients to see.

They are all fine.

But I can’t tell them that.

They look to me to cure the price we pay for living.

Maybe I can. Maybe I can’t.

But surely I won’t be able to help the one who needs it most.

I push her image away.

I put on a smile for the others.

“How are you today?” I ask,

And wait for the litany of complaints,

Dutifully typing them into my laptop.

Write prescriptions. Check the labs.

Click, click, click.

I have glimpsed death only to turn away and stare at a computer screen.

But death will not be clicked away.

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