Villanelle

Jolene Won
Chicago, Illinois, United States

 

A hospital corridor in shadowy blue lighting.
Photo by Sandy Torchon on Pexels.

I did not know today would be your last –
we see no end for those that we hold dear.
If I had known I’d not have let it pass.

The nurse who knows she can’t set down her tasks
continues on, tries not to shed a tear.
I did not know today would be your last.

The student standing by, his face aghast,
the flatline tone still ringing in his ears.
If I had known I’d not have let it pass.

The chaplain came, but life left far too fast –
he prays to God that God was ready here.
I did not know today would be your last.

The intern wonders what he didn’t catch.
It festers in his mind, his darkest fear.
If I had known I’d not have let it pass.

This was not meant to be, the die was cast –
the family is at peace, for none were here.
I did not know today would be your last;
if I had known I’d not have let it pass.

 


 

JOLENE WON is a fourth-year medical student at Rush Medical College in Chicago, IL. Born and raised in Oakland, CA, her professional interests include pediatric oncology, palliative care, and narrative medicine. Jolene’s writing has been featured by KevinMD, SUNY Upstate’s The Healing Muse, and Medium.com. In her free time, she enjoys composing music, swing dancing, and seeking out the best croissant in town.

 

Spring 2022  |  Sections  |  Poetry