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Feel the Silence

His hands are cold
As his lifeless body
Lies upon the table
At the coroner’s office.

My mom is beside me
Stroking those fingers,
Tears rolling in waves
Down her cheeks.

I watch in horror,
The reality is only now
Beginning to sink in
To my soul.

But it never will.
It shall follow us
As it follows me now
Into my medical school’s
Gross Anatomy Cadaver Lab

Where I shall do my dissecting
Of someone I never even knew.
Our cadaver’s fingers
seem like the very same
Cold, lifeless fingers

Of my father,
Which I refused to touch
my last time in the coroner’s office.
for which, I shall never forgive myself–

For refusing to hold the very same fingers
That held me so tightly
The moment I was born
And to which I held onto even tighter.

It was his hands
That held my weak one’s steady
Against the cold, metal pull-up bar.
Yet, now I dissect in my medical school’s cadaver lab
With shaking hands and with the sole desire
To have his hands again

Holding my weak one’s steady
Against the cold, metal pull-up bar.
I try to cut the flesh as my Grant’s Dissector instructs me to,
Yet my hand tremors despite the clenching of my fists.

If only he were here still, my thought reverberates.
But why not? Why can’t he be here?
After all, the thought and perception are mine.

The quaking in my hands subsides.
The blade’s evanescent quivering stops.
I cut into the flesh of the cadaver,
And heal this spirit of mine.

This cadaver isn’t just that.
This is my first patient,
Who I will treat
With the upmost care and compassion,
Just as my father did for me.