Let Go

By Beatrice Preti – Class of 2017

She walks over to me, eyes warm and bright
Doc, what happened to that patient from last Friday night?
Jess and I were wondering, he was so sweet and kind!
We hope it wasn’t serious, what did the lab techs find?
I look at her, eyes full of life
In this line of work, an unusual sight
I swallow hard, not sure what to say
Though it’s my job, and there are rules to obey
The parts of my heart which haven’t yet scarred
Make answering questions like these ones hard
I guess I’m still human, or, at least, half so
And part of me falters when I have to let go
My eyes meet hers, but they’re not nearly as wide
As I tell her the patient from last Friday died
This life-and-death cycle happens all of the time
So why do I feel as though I’ve committed some crime?
The hope in her eyes goes up in smoke
And she covers her mouth as a sob makes her choke
He was such a nice man, she says, oh, God bless,
I’ll just be a moment, Sir, I ought to tell Jess
I watch her leave, and something strange stirs
In the middle of my chest, and my vision blurs
The tears of the present and the past are mixed
Because I know that some people can’t be fixed
I don’t know what will happen next
After my student has gone to tell Jess
There will be a scar on her heart, the same as on mine
But, as she stands in the lounge, she writes a few lines
I notice the paper, but I don’t say a word
What could I say to an act so absurd?
There are no words to describe all the things that we feel
When the words on a chart on a desk become real
But the student thinks she knows, her smile’s now a frown
And when she gets home, she’ll write this all down
And I’ll let her try, without saying a word
She’s still very young, and the things that she’s heard
Are nothing compared to the things she will know
And one day she, too, will learn to let go

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