Short white coat, hangs up to the waist
Deep pockets, two on the sides one on the front
Ready reference manual, pocket size PDR
Pens black and red, flash light and tape
Scrolls of papers with scribbled notes
Crumbled bills of gas and coke
Sometimes the ear ring, sometimes the ring
Watch or the chain, pair of gloves and a face mask.
Splattered blood from an arterial stick
Making a design an intern’s art.
Spilled coffee from the trembling hands
Of the wife in shock when the loved one wakes up
The big black patch, the stain of miracle,
The smell of the coffee soaking the white coat.
Heart felt gift, a turquoise stone
For easing the pain of the ailing mother
Deep in the pocket smooth and soft
Tears of joy rolling down the collar.
Candy wrappers, highlighter chopstick and gum
Leaving their marks on history like painting on the canvas.
The pockets empty, the name tag in trash
The short white coat thrown in the wash.
Memories and stains no bleach can clean.
Graduated to long white coat, the resident’s coat
Sparkling white with perfect buttons
Neatly pressed collar, new name tag
The look, the touch, the smell and feel
The messy coat, the memory coat,
That is my canvas forever.
Giri is a hematology and oncology specialist in Old Bridge. She has lived in West Windsor for the past 22 years and has two sons.