Sunday, January 20, 2013

dear front desk girl

I wrote this as a student. As a conscientious student, I remember feeling the angst of how annoyed the front desk girls were with me. As weird as it sounds, they were most angered by the students who actually did their homework. Because it demanded time and energy from them. They had to pull the charts. They had to work on Saturdays to help us. The ones who showed up on weekends to research their patient's charts...This was me working out my angst in poem form. 

I know it must seem that I’m always at your window
to bug you,
asking for a chart, or even for a stack,
or for you to access
that all-powerful schedule that reigns over both of our lives.
my furrowed brow might seem to convey anger.

in reality, 
I’m concentrating
on the next thing
Mr. Attending asked me to do,
after he told me
how wrong I was
the last time.
might suggest
that I’m not taking the teaching seriously, enough.

and sometimes, only sometimes,
furrowing my brow
making it harder 
for the tears to stream
down my face
when I’ve fucked something up, 
yet again.

I know it must seem
I’m demanding so much
on the days 
when I come back
like some adolescent.
pulling up to the drive-up In and Out.
I imagine 
it is rather annoying.
what now?
you must think
as I approach for the umpteenth time.

in reality, 
some days the demanding weights
almost crush.

world full of Attendings
in multiple directions,
usurping or contradicting one another.

never doing enough.
never learning enough.
chart note, never quite right enough.

sometimes, crazy as it is
I lighten my load
creating a delusional reality
I’m not the one being pushed around.

I know it must seem that I’m moody as I stand here

in reality,
I'm pausing,
catching my breath
as my patient just left.
the conversation we had took effort.

to get it right,
to communicate 
to not fall down in a puddle on the floor.

appropriate expressions,
did not come easy.

new to this realm
of carrying other people’s burdens,
I’ve never had to tell someone
of the cancer
found inside the walls of ovaries.

now I’m standing at this window,
my soul.

letting my guard down
worrying not
about smiling.

I don’t know much,
I have learned that ovarian is a bad one.

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