Poetry

Why I am scared of returning to medical school

I am afraid of the sterilization of my sensibilities.
Of the pressure to conform, become swept into the undulation of the sea of medical students
Of being told to stop being curious or ask questions or write in a certain way
I am afraid of my freedom of spirit being taken away
Of my sensitivities being taken as weaknesses
Of being asked to grow a thick skin in the face of pain and suffering
Of being questioned why you are here

Of needing to speak or prove a certain way of being
Of not believing in the power of numbers to heal
Of creating a wall between the Other and me for the sake of emotional protection
Of boundaries
Of becoming emotionally detached from the people around me, and therefore myself
Of not being able to sleep and look at the flowers

Of the confusion
Of the silencing of my voice
Of emotional numbness
And inability to differentiate between emotional numbness and emotional power

Of fleeting encounters that masquerade as connection
Of not being able to use my hands
Of not being able to hear
Or listen

Of the four walls that contain human experience called the hospital
Of being asked to think linearly and contorting myself to do so
Because I can and I have learned that language
Of not being able to speak in poetry
Or metaphor
Or symbols
Of not having time to feel the tips of my toes when I speak intuitively

Of ears closing, eyes shutting, heart closing
Of the castle of hierarchy
Of sentences ending in periods rather than commas

,

- A searching medical student