Progress Notes

Paying tribute: Poetic reflections from our anatomy lab

Editor’s note: A privilege granted to medical students throughout the United States, gross anatomy labs play a crucial role in developing the hearts, hands, and minds of future physicians. The Willed Body Program at Baylor College of Medicine allows individuals to donate their bodies after death to science so that medical students can train in human anatomy.

Below are two pieces reflecting on the recent Donor Honor Ceremony, where medical school and health sciences classes came together to recognize the generosity of donors and their loved ones.

To My First Patient

By Brittan Armstrong, MS1

Time together bittersweetwilled-body-photo

I’ve held your womb, lungs, and brain

Your heart that beat

Your hands, your feet

What you gave, so I could train

I feel as though I know you

Though our names were not exchanged

All we’ve been through

I wish you knew

How forever I’ve been changed


Though I’ll never hear you speak

I’ll remember what you taught

Same time each week

Each time unique

Offered knowledge that I sought


I know how you died, and when

I wish I’d heard your stories

Places you’ve been

What made you grin

Beyond these laboratories


But your story isn’t spent

Far from gone with your last breath

Past that event

From your intent

Your great gift outlives your death

Donor Directionality

By Lumi Sokunbi, MS3

Confusion lies ahead

Or rather cranial to where I bow

I do not know where things are

But I know where I am now


I shift around for a better view

Steady in circumduction

My preconceived notions disappear

Along with all assumptions


Discovery is soon to be underneath

Or shall I describe as deep

The nuances of your body

Pop out in bounds and leaps


Life has gone behind

Or better yet dorsal

But you wrote your own story

Left us with your portrayal


Patience comes to the forefront

Or rather I mean anterior

You are my first patient

And always my superior


Concern may detach

Probably proximal to my mind

Questions I may have

But answers I will find


Our intimacy is in the center

More accurately in the median

In the future I will look back

And thank you again and again


I do not know where things are

But I know where I am now

You can no longer know where things are

But you are here and now


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