April 2012

Lost in Translation

First Place


The patient is resting and Hope attends
           as a silent witness at her vigil.
Both can but wait. Patiently.
Her raw red eyes will
           the bands to separate.
Her labcoat weighs heavy
           on shoulders hunched over the apparatus.
Her gloved hands ache from pipetting.
                                                Not long now.
Soon she will be in the darkroom
           fixated on the developer
           waiting two dry-mouthed minutes.
Soon the Moment of Truth
                            (or at least something approaching it)
Will the results herald a Miracle Cure? A Medical Breakthrough?
           Snag her a slot on the Sunday news?
But she’s dreaming
           not of the lucre, the Lasker, Cell and celebrity.
She dreams only of…

Amongst the twinkling snoring machines
          Her eyelids droop         her head drifts down
          And there is Hope        that she won’t drool
As she dreams     (from bench to bedside)
                                                                          only of Sleep.



poetry_brownAndrew Brown is an associate professor of biochemistry at The University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He trained in Sydney, Edinburgh and Dallas before returning to Sydney, where his research team investigates the many and varied vagaries of cholesterol control.

Read the rest of the winning poems.
Read the judges' biographies.

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