A Cardiologist Seeks Certainty by Denise Bundred
Expressive Writing Group Participant, published by The Hippocrates Press 2016.
I spread cold gel on a newborn chest,
rest the probe on creamy skin,
angle between ribs, rotate to find a heart
no larger than the tiny fist
pushing me away.
Two dimensions defy translation into three
as I locate chambers
amid the maze of vessels.
A millimeter of movement and the image melts
to a snowstorm on my screen.
I re-trace arcs of ultrasound
to relieve the twist of doubt.
Adrenalin dries my saliva as I strive to decide
whether the aorta arches
to the left or right.
The nurse checks the prescription
against an ampoule, initials in black ink,
secure in her certainty of drug and dose.
The surgeon weighs my words
to determine his incision
and shape his operation
as the incubator trundles towards theatre
escorting mother and the nurse.
I resolve inconsistencies into diagnosis,
wipe the sweat from my hands,
write my notes; make my decision.