Stained Glass By Yenting Chen

Stained Glass

shrouded within a shrine of hazy vinyl curtains

a grown man
soul painfully transparent
eyes clear with gossamer hope

shatter like two panes of glass

into tears.

“I don’t want to be on a ventilator.”

I sit on a stool and gather the glass
within my own eyes.

“I share your wish.
Let’s be hopeful together.”

clocks chant
alarms ring
machines chime
the virus crescendos into a chorus.

our wishes are broken by a cold metal blade.

a clear plastic tube grows opaque
stained by the fog of breath.


within these windowless walls

shared hopes are held softly between strangers
silently beautiful with translucent fragility

like daybreak

piercing through a parable of passion
etched on panes of glass.

By Yenting Chen

Emergency Room Covid isolation room.


Dr. Yenting Chen is an emergency medicine physician in Oakland, California. His primary professional interest is working with medically underserved communities. Outside of the emergency room, his main creative drive is fostering empathy for the fragility of the human experience.

2 thoughts on “Stained Glass By Yenting Chen

  1. Please continue to capture these monument in poem. You have seen so much death and illness this can be an outlet for that pain. Perhaps in can inspire the skeptical to take done preventive steps to prepare for and avoid the ravages of this virus.

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