On the Left

Standing on the left
Instead of the right.
Observing with emotion
Rather than objective insight.

It was all so familiar,
Yet at the same time distant.
The melodic whir of pumps,
And relentless beeps constant.

The mechanical sound of breath
Once seeming almost natural;
Now only a reminder of what
Can be fleeting and ephemeral.

Unable to ease the pain
Through devices at hand.
It felt so strange to be there
Only to comfort and stand.

The differential diagnosis
Running through my head,
Along with possible outcomes
Would have to remain unsaid.

Navtej Sandhu, Chicago, Class of 2002