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Poems & Stories from the ED

BROTHERHOOD

Two boys

One eleven, the other fourteen

The older one is my patient.  (So is his mom.)

But the younger one draws my attention.

Bloodshot eyes, a furrowed brow.

He looks more troubled than his battered brother.

But I’m drawn into my work: the history, the exam,

There was a fight, a bad one, but the younger brother wasn’t involved.

I convince the mom that a CT-scan isn’t necessary.

“It’s safer to watch him at home and return if worse”

We’re done, but for the brother’s eyes.

“Was  he crying?” I ask.

“Yes,” the mother replies, “He was afraid for his big brother.”

In the end, it is my eyes that are teary.

****

I can’t remember the last time I cried at work.   We see death and loss all the time in the ED.  I guess I am used to it.  But something about that younger brother’s degree of sympathy or fear or both definitely struck a cord.  Please share a poem inspired by your own experience or brief story of your own below.

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