April Bernice, our first patient.
We never met, but were intimate.
You helped us uncover and let us follow
The paths of nerves and the curves of flesh.
We got under your skin and into your head,
even warmed your heart,
But we missed the woman inside it all.
Did your vocal folds once sing,
or your hands once create?
Once upon a time, whom did you comfort and love?
What memories of you survive with grandchildren?
We learned from sights and sensations of the body
Without knowing anything about you as a person
Except that you had made the decision to teach us.
For that, we – and our future patients – thank you, dear April.
We know not of your life’s struggles or joys,
But we know your teachings live beyond your life and into ours.