2021 Virtual Art Fair: Poetry and literature

July 14, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees

A Quitter’s Poem by Cel Gallardo, medical technologist:

I woke up with a headache
Feeling disoriented, my eyes blurry
I see something from a distance
Marching towards me, getting near

I could see them clearly now
Oh boy! They sure look handsome
in their white suit
Group in two’s, row of tens
They are calling my name

I braced myself for a fight
I have come this far
I’m not going to give in
Go away, leave me alone

I closed my eyes and thought of you
Beautiful thoughts, happy thoughts
My nerves began to calm down as I let
myself drown in a sea of thoughts

When I opened my eyes, I saw them
One by one…
Marching back inside their box
Never to see light again.

A Gift to Pay Forward by Vy Tran Plata, M.S., medical student

I held his hand for a moment, 
and wondered what these hands have built 
over a lifetime  
of dreams and aspirations… 

My own mortality crossed my mind. 
I looked at my own hand, fragile though mobile  
What will I build with these hands  
With the life I have left? 


I held his heart 
wondering what secrets  
these four chambers hold? 
For whom did his heart beat  
besides life itself? 

The strongest organ in the body,  
in the soft palms of my hands– 
I wondered about that last heartbeat 
before the EKG flattens 
in deafening silence. 
Did he get to say goodbye? 


I held his brain, 
and wondered how many thoughts 
and emotions 
have passed through these neurons 
Hopes, fears, joy, pain, love… where did they all go? 

Three pounds do not  
capture the full weight… 
A lifetime of memories, beliefs,  
a whole worldview in my hands. 


A mixture of strong embalming fluid  
and my own emotions 
stung and blurred my eyes. 
And I stood still for a moment, 
with deep appreciation for our friend, my first patient, and teacher. 

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