Jackson Hall

Forgive us, sir, if in the course of carving
Your cheeks and neck and eyelids we forget
That here's a tongue that's permanently starving,
And here are eyes that closed with great regret;
Forgive if we have seen as imposition
Upon our precious time with work and wives
This stiff appointment, where your last physician
No longer seeks to cure you with his knives;

For this is trust: to yield to being opened
With knowledge that your wounds will not be closed;
To give up certain peace post-mortem, hoping
To help us win the war Disease imposed;
To risk the glib and thoughtless violation
Of human skin and of its consecration.

Mina Le is an otolaryngologist, and head and neck surgeon at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center in South Florida. While attending Harvard University, she studied poetry and received the James Buell Munn Award for literary talent. A native of Minneapolis, she obtained her MD from Harvard Medical School.