Midnight Musings by Lay Kodama


Poetry for me is a way to retrospectively mine meaning out of seemingly-significant moments in my life. I try to maintain a similar structure throughout all of my poems — starting with a detailed, non-abstract “setting of the scene” then revolving into a concluding “epiphany” to apply this single scene and moment to a more global theme. This writing process is not only a journey for me, but will hopefully be a journey for the reader as they extract their own meaning out of the poem.

“Knowing Enough” was inspired by my great-grandmother’s death (my first witness of death) back when I was six and more-naive. It’s a theme that comes up over and over, and has especially been relevant during this beginning path of medical school training. Even when we think we know enough, and we think comfort will come with knowledge, life keeps challenging and humbling us. I have never felt this to be more true than in the face of all the stories I have heard through my fellow students and the patients I have interviewed. These next eight years will both set me out of my comfort zone but also be the most rewarding years of my life, and I hope to encapsulate some of what I learn in the form of such midnight musings.