Psychiatric TimesVol 40, Issue 9

"For months she has dreamed in red..."


Vitalii Vodolazskyi/AdobeStock


For months she has dreamed in red:

blood flows from his mouth,

soaks his gown a deep red-brown.

She Code Blues a prayer,

stands aside as the team arrives

in ones and twos, breathless,

mouth blood pulsing.

Starched and spotless,

compressed in the doorjamb,

she is untouched

by the blood on their gloves,

the blood in the lines,

the blood spattered on white Nikes,

floor slick with cells and plasma.

Eyes locked on the flat-lined monitor,

she hears the last blood gurgle,

the team quiet and calm in a lake of blood.

And after they raise him on the cart,

she fills out the forms,

watches a woman mop,

hears soles stick to the floor,

the splash of pink water on steel.

Dr Berlin has been writing a poem about his experience of being a doctor every month for the past 25 years in Psychiatric Times® in a column called “Poetry of the Times.” He is instructor in psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts. His latest book is Freud on My Couch.

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