My life pasted on his wall to analyze, a flash of insight came to me: Training had begun.
POETRY OF THE TIMES
Dr Berlin has been writing a poem about his experience of being a doctor every month for the past 23 years in Psychiatric TimesTM in a column called “Poetry of the Times.” He is instructor in psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts.
The elevator squeaks up to seven,
worn carpet, a muffled, Come in!
when I knock and enter a room dimmed
to twilight, Freud’s bust, the graybeard
interviewer’s face blurred in shadow,
his hand waving me toward a chair
angled to obscure him from view,
and he gives a strange command:
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Only a little bit? At a job interview?
But his head is nodding Yes, and I talk—
med school for psychiatry, patients
I loved, books that kidnapped my attention,
growing up with a sick father,
and the helpless feeling I’d become a doctor
and still couldn’t save him, the professor
laying low in shadow, breathing Hmmm,
Uh-huh, in rhythm with my words
until that moment an hour deep
when he suddenly stands and thanks me
for coming in, for sharing so much,
my life pasted on his wall to analyze,
the flash of insight: training had begun.❒