Second Day

Monday, January 24, 2022

January 13, 2021


One of these days

I'll turn the right way when I exit the stairwell.

I'll confidently walk down the hallway

say hello to the nurses

by name

step in —

ask the patient about his pain

while timing his breaths

and considering his medications.

I'll clearly answer his questions

with just the right tone

of concern

and reassurance.



I step out of the stairwell


walk in a circle

or two


as I strain to hear the murmur

my senior says he has.

I tell him

we're doing everything we can

we're here for him

and he looks at me with such




I step out

find the stairwell

feel the new weight of my stethoscope

(once my grandfather's)

around my neck.


I will do 


I can to deserve it.