A partner came to me one morning
After I’d lost a patient to a procedure
That I’d performed nineteen hundred times before.
He said that I shouldn’t recriminate myself.
My statistics were good and my experience
Was needed to lead the younger ones.
But I knew the patient as Jack
And in his last minutes
He squeezed my arm and asked me to save him
As the fluid seeped into his lungs
And his skin turned blue.
As he struggled I found it hard to believe
That what I was helplessly holding
Was a blip on the survival curve,
A point on the median,
An integer of analysis and debate
By those who couldn’t know
That I was bleeding in my heart.