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Education  |   May 2019
Judas and the Magnetic Resonance
Author Notes
  • This poem is one of the finalists of Anesthesiology’s 2018 annual creative writing competition, The Letheon.
    This poem is one of the finalists of Anesthesiology’s 2018 annual creative writing competition, The Letheon.×
Article Information
Education / Mind to Mind / Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems / Gastrointestinal and Hepatic Systems / Ophthalmologic Anesthesia / Pediatric Anesthesia / Radiological and Other Imaging / Respiratory System
Education   |   May 2019
Judas and the Magnetic Resonance
Anesthesiology 5 2019, Vol.130, 850. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002684
Anesthesiology 5 2019, Vol.130, 850. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002684
He tells me to hold her down, to pin her arms
tightly against her sides and lean myself
across her legs. I do as I’m instructed
and he holds the hissing mask over her nose
and mouth. She looks up at me. Her eyes are flooding.
She’s not quite two and her sobbing helps ensure
she’ll breathe in deep the anesthesia. When
she’s still, they’ll start the imaging of her brain.
I’m here because she trusts me most to keep her
safe. She struggles hard against my hold
learning her first lesson about betrayal.
She’s screaming Daddy!, pleading for me to stop.
She kicks hard at my ribs so I lean more heavily
upon her. I can smell the gas she’s breathing—like candy—
and then she stops, her breathing slows, her eyes
roll up inside her head and she slumps, open-mouthed
and limp, in my tensed arms. Thirty pounds
of inert weight the tech slides easily into
position inside the chamber of the machine.
I’m escorted from the buzzing room, but
before I go I make sure I see her chest rise,
her chest fall. I sit down on a folding chair
out in the hall. The technician tells me, smiling,
You did real good in there, Dad.