When I cut open his chest

I still remember,
That pungent odour,
As I slit his throat,
In one clean stroke.
My knife moved,
Across his parched skin,
From the dip below his chin,
To the hollow in his stomach.
As I reached in,
And grabbed his heart,
Quelled by infarct,
Couldn’t help but wonder
About words unsaid,
Paths untread,
Moments of joy and fear,
Tortuous grief,
Bizarre beliefs,
If he cried,
As the end neared,
Cushioned in my palm,
A man’s existence,
Devoid of soul,
Never to be whole.
.
.
.
A loud bell clanged,
Snapped out of my reverie,
An ephemeral memory,
Anatomy Class is over,
Time for lunch.

One of the first, most vivid memories I have of medical school is the Anatomy Lab. Hidden in a corner of the ground floor, it was home to many firsts for me and my friends. The first body, first incision, first suture, first skull, first brain… But the day that left the starkest impact on me was the day we excised the heart and learnt about it. There was something so macabre yet fascinating about that moment that I will never forget the ten of us huddled around that one man’s heart. I remember mulling over who he might have been before he ended up on our table, his joys, fears and sins. It was such a visceral, immersive experience. The smell of formalin lingering in the air that was a sensory assault unlike any other. The excitement we felt on the day we first marvelled at the complexity of the human body. The palpable fear when we were asked to isolate one specific nerve from millions. It is a thrill unlike any other, an experience that is just ours, one where you ponder about the mysteries of life while standing across a man’s heart, and then when the bell rings you’re jolted into reality. Something as mundane as lunch! Following that year, we only saw live patients (thank god!) but the memories of the anatomy lab are richly imprinted in my brain.

For this piece, I tried to play with some vivid imagery and dark humour and wanted to draw on the contrast of being so immersed in this strange experience for one moment and then just living a normal life like anyone else the next!


Hope you enjoyed this, have a great day!

47 Comments Add yours

  1. My friend has tales to tell about anatomy lab. 😂 Scary ones.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Shruti says:

      Haha, scary but interesting?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Shabnam says:

    This sounds scary as well as interesting. Nice one. 👍💕

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Shruti says:

      Thank you Shabnam! Glad you enjoyed it

      Like

  3. An absolute gem again. There is a certain uniqueness in your writing. Your choice of words and relatability makes your work so interesting.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Shruti says:

      Wow you absolutely made my day, thank you for your encouragement!

      Like

  4. uzzawal1911 says:

    The poem was well written, scary, but thought provoking. Especially the choice of words and the flow. Nice one 🙌

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shruti says:

      Thank you so much

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh wow.. this was brilliantly dark!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shruti says:

      Haha that was the intention, I’ve never tried this before

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Olivia says:

    I love how you used humour on something that was probably so serious at the time. The way you described it made me paint a picture in my mind of the thoughts and feelings you all must have gone through seeing a heart infront of you.
    Very thought provoking!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shruti says:

      Thank you so much Olivia! I tried something different, and I’m glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Era says:

    And this made me remember my dissection table times memories, those emotions, how it is felt, thoughts that crossed mind
    So so beautifully penned by you 💙

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shruti says:

      Yes! Those days will never be forgotten, thank you so much for your constant support, Era!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Era says:

        My pleasure 😊

        Like

  8. Aushi says:

    Its intresting😍😍 and little bit scary 😉… Good going 🤗🤗👍👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shruti says:

      Haha thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ava Tripathy says:

    Beautifully written and intresting
    Love your post❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Shruti says:

      Thank you Ava!

      Like

      1. Shruti says:

        Haha as I was writing this poem that thought did cross my mind!

        Like

      2. Ava Tripathy says:

        Pleasure is all mine 😇😊

        Like

  10. oh my i have memories of the anatomy lab but never cut a heart out. You will have plenty of good fiction to write with these memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shruti says:

      Haha as I was writing this poem that thought did cross my mind!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow. Loved it. very interesting. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Shruti says:

      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Mahesh Mali says:

    Scarinteresting!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shruti says:

      Haha, perfect! That was the intention

      Liked by 1 person

  13. dessertflower5 says:

    Your post reminded me of my dissection classes. God holding a human heart. Such profound words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shruti says:

      Thank you so much!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. dessertflower5 says:

        The pleasure is all mine

        Liked by 1 person

  14. besondersite says:

    Haha an interesting twist! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shruti says:

      Haha thanks! 😬😬

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Pankanzy says:

    Amazing 😲👍

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Peakspeak says:

    So hard hitting… I love the way you amalgamated medicine and philosophy…. Lovely choice of words and absolutely fantastic articulation ❤

    Like

    1. Shruti says:

      Wow thank you so! Yes that moment of intersection between science and emotion is what I was going for!:)

      Like

  17. Omg! Never thought that being a med student can some times be so scary… Well Shruti it was a fascinating one and the words you rhyme and use make your writings incredibly awesome….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shruti says:

      Haha it can be, thank you so much Kunakshi💕

      Like

  18. Moreblessing says:

    Lol Science is not all geeky after all
    It’s scary too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shruti says:

      Haha there are many facets to science I would say!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Harsh says:

    Sounds interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Nathi says:

    It certainly gave me chills!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Kripaa says:

    Scary 😖 but yeah a different experience 😁❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  22. ashishkoul says:

    Do you believe in God,just a little curious to know

    Like

    1. Shruti says:

      I do, actually. I believe there’s a god

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s