Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Poems

  • Vigil

    Terri EricksonPfafftown, North Carolina, United States In a care home in Göteborg, Sweden, my husband’s sister, Jensina, sits vigil at the bedside of their Aunt Astrid, who is dying. She holds her hand, speaks to her as if everything is as it was, the two of them talking in Astrid’s apartment, her sharp mind and…

  • The trouble with the belly button

    Tonse N. K. RajuGaithersburg, Maryland, United States It is a simple dimple in the mid-abdomen. Yet for medieval artists, it caused mighty headaches while painting portraits of Adam and Eve. Painting the dimple as a natural anatomic feature could be construed as sacrilegious, implying that Adam and Eve were connected by umbilical cords to their…

  • When I heard the learn’d epidemiologist

    Dean GianakosLynchburg, Virginia, United States Sitting on the maroon recliner in my den, I am having trouble concentrating on the epidemiologist who is talking on the television. He points to a Covid hot zone on a color-coded map of the United States. The screen changes before I can locate Virginia. Were we brown, or yellow?…

  • Ignes Fatui of the neurotic mind

    Ashten R. Duncan Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States   Rocking in my vessel sturdy Upon the waters of a swamp so dirty, I am in the crow’s nest En route to my impending test. Ever since I was young, I have been given to the far-flung: Quiet panic of a possible foe, Wishes to never disturb…

  • What it’s about

    Wesley Chou Boston, Massachusetts   At coffee-flecked booths And down corridors, wending A way through the staccato chatter, We guzzle down the details: “empty waiting room” by Julep67. 2006. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0    Oh let me tell you, One fisherman to another, Of fingers turned tassel by a firecracker, Soiled plastic and muffled screams leaking Out a…

  • Half-skull

    Sophia Wilson New Zealand   Photo © Chris Downer / Twelfth century headache / (cc-by-sa/2.0) a ghost shrieks at the window, threatens to break through, shatter eye-cover. throbbing fingers infiltrate soft crevices; neuronal mass pulsates. knife twists, gristle-turning; stoat gnaw, rat’s claw. mind summersaults to snap-trap pain, can’t let go its axon’s branch. cerebral crevices convolute;…