I have always seen hospitals as
I have wandered with wide eyes
through winding hallways,
idolizing the doctors with their gleaming stethoscopes
hung around their necks
I have discovered solitude and peace
amidst the quick pace and the noise.
I have spent sleepless nights in the emergency room,
taking vitals and
feeling adrenaline course through my veins.
Imagine my disbelief,
as I began to realize that
in my eyes
to everyone else.
But also a prison.
I never realized that
until I heard her speak.
She, who felt silent tears drip down her face,
As a nurse’s rough fingers painfully probed
the most private, vulnerable
part of her body.
She, who struggled as her arms and legs were strapped down.
She, who felt drugs flowing into her body from an IV—
drugs that forced her insides to contract, to convulse,
to rip apart.
She, who whimpered as frigid air touched her organs,
as the doctor lifted her baby out of her body
and separated her from the precious life
that she herself had created.
And separated they remained
for hours, agonizing and slow.
The pristine glass castle in my imagination began to crack,
and then it shattered.
And I could see the truth.
Stethoscopes are not necklaces,
chaining good people to
Dark clouds, representing the faults of human nature,
To which a hospital is not impermeable.
But there is also good
within human nature.
Beyond the hazy darkness
are beacons of light
that shine with compassion and kindness.
And it is up to us,
the ones who have years of learning ahead of us,
to choose which side to nurture.
The sprawling mechanical darkness
or the bright spots of humanity.