All babies are born with a knowledge of poetry,

because the lub-dub of the mother’s heart is in iambic meter.

Then, life slowly starts to choke the poetry out of us.

–Billy Collins

and what could be more comforting than to fold grief

like a blanket –

to fold anger like a blanket,

with neat corners –

to put them into a box of words?

–Mary Oliver

In anesthesiology, we live seconds away from tragedy. It stalks us in the O.R. and trails us into the PACU. It is my last night-call in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and I’m paged to a room for a patient I don’t know. It must be a mistake. Turning into the room, I see a bearded man leaning over a 4-year-old girl. In a second, I realize it’s the respiratory...

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