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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 4, December 2014

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Angelee Deodhar
Chandigarh, India


Once

Sitting on a hard wooden bench in the Anatomy Lecture room, I wait for the body of a friend. Five decades ago, as medical students, we dissected the cadavers allotted to us, following each vessel each nerve to its origin, always eight of us, two to each limb.

I think of Rembrandt's painting of The Anatomy lesson of Dr. Tulp, but then after the initial sense of awe we quickly settled into ghoulish abandon as we explored the intricacies of what was once a person. Irreverent remarks often escaped us, as we tried in vain to get the smell of formalin out of our hands and clothes. We never once stopped to think where these bodies came from; for the most part, they were destitute homeless unclaimed men and women who now lay unclad on steel tables under our scalpels.

Tonight as I wait to pay homage to my friend, who has donated his body to science, it is a person, a father, a husband, a brother who will soon be divested of everything as carefree young anatomists learn from him to save others . . . and perhaps themselves.

dusty from the pilgrimage
I drink God's words from
a prayer wheel

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