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Jones, Olivia

Journal of the American Academy of PAs: August 2019 - Volume 32 - Issue 8 - p 1
doi: 10.1097/01.JAA.0000574528.47292.6e
Becoming a PA

Olivia Jones was a student in the PA program at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., when she wrote this poem. The author has disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Tanya Gregory, PhD, department editor



After a happy swirl of ceremony

A thin, winter season

Nights with your head down

Pen-and-ink running together, a rushing river

A sharper wind than you expected

That cuts through the jacket you thought warm enough.

One Friday, studying skin cancers

My phone rang and I learned

My friend had shot himself in his backyard.

I slid speechless down the wall.

In the spring you lift your head

See the simple things of your life

For the first time.

The daffodils defying frost,

The coffee percolating, singing praises.

Your lungs expand.

On a walk, I catalogued the flowers.

One I found was ombre, its purple giving way to pink

Certain genes expressed, not expressed

A partial transformation.

Inside a voice grows

Go this way

Go that way

You feel the bleeding work of your hands

Taking root.

The sun beats down on pavement,

The sweat rolls down your spine,

The stars whirl by a seventh-floor window.

A sanctuary of in-between breaths.

Many nights,

The moon escorts me, holds my hand

The half-mile to my car, lonely in the lot

And I smile.

A happy swirl of ceremony.

Another winter waiting.

Copyright © 2019 American Academy of Physician Assistants