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A surgeon's hands
  1. Bryan D Choi
  1. Correspondence to Bryan D Choi, Duke Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program, Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery; Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA; bryan.choi{at}

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It is remarkable

how two hands

caked in blood

distract mortal parts and

with stoic grace, weathered pride

spellbind death beyond skill to heal.

An elegant performance

staged under silver spotlight;

steady mysteries weep through

mended contours

amid smudged drapes—

a bandaged masterpiece

only few will grasp.

But passed gloved allure,

shed smooth silhouette,

these hands are left

with bony ledge, freckled time

to scribe a note

or rest in lonely pockets,

waiting to cradle life again.

View Abstract


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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