A Poem: No Name

June 30, 2022

Perspectives in Primary Care (formally the Primary Care Review) features perspectives from practitioners and students representing organizations, practices, and institutions across the country and around the world. All opinions expressed in this article are owned by the author(s).

I called a third time.

her voice sounds like a whisper hanging from a wire

or a storyline lost in space.

Worry not of death itself but her fragile husband and three kids

Despite everything she is eager to talk and between the cough and fatigue

Shared details, dates, places

she speaks about her experience at the hospital

and is thankful to doctors, and nurses.

However, that visit opened her eyes to a reality not everyone gets to see.

She asked: Will this soon be over?

Will I recover my health?

What to answer?

What to say?

I felt like a lost atom

Between a parenthesis

Where nothing is

Nothing exists

Not even death,

Because death can only exist

If there is life.

She said: “I have gained and lost

and if I am not here tomorrow next winter will come again.”

I wondered how to give her a word, a touch, a sense of unity

How can you love the broken dreams of life?

Probably she can grasp the beauty of truth and that untouchable place where peace can only be and persist.

**Feature photo obtained by standard license on Shutterstock.


Interested in other articles like this? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter

Interested in contributing to the Harvard Primary Care Blog? Review our submission guidelines


Gladys Jimenez

Gladys Jimenez is a Project Coordinator for Visión y Compromiso, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that provides leadership development, capacity building, advocacy training, and support to Promotores and Community Health Workers throughout California. At the time she wrote this poem, Gladys was working at the Public Health Institute in Oakland, California, as a case investigator for the COVID-19 contact tracing program. Gladys was born in Leon, Nicaragua and now lives in Southern California with her family. She enjoys reading, exercising, and working in her garden.

New Content Alerts