Sitting at this desk

Heater warming my feet

My body ensconced in three layers of clothing

Hands exposed, clutching this pen

The cold mist coming out my nostrils

Inhaled air, processed within.


Clock on mantelpiece strikes twelve

It is midnight

Again, I try writing this letter

The tears always come in between

Tears of loss

So much loss – for so much gain.


I remember when Papa lost his land

I say lost because he had it sold

Sold it to fulfil a dream

A dream of his young son

“Son, you can go now to the land across the waters”

“You will be the first Doctor from this village.”


I remember Ada, Ada with the long and thick hair

Ada with the smile that lit the sky

We went to school together

A love like ours, no other could find

But this was not her dream

She couldn’t be part of this dream.


Ten years have gone by

I now talk ‘through my nose’ like all the others

Memories of the sunshine get dimmer and dimmer

Memories of the green vegetation

And playing in the sand

All lost among the lights I now call home.


I can hear them now, the sirens in the distance

I know I won’t be able to complete this letter

I pick my stethoscope and await the inevitable call

Another day

Another life to save

Another day away from home.




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  1. Is this your story Dr E?

    I have three African colleagues in my place of work, one working here to pay the fees of her son on his journey through medical school.

    Parents make great sacrifices.

    Anna :o]

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