The Gross Clinic


Because I am an overachiever, I decided to extend my Ekphrastic poems into the month of May. I have never attempted to translate the emotion from paintings, drawings, sculptures, or other visual works of art into words. The challenge will require me to dig deep to tap into the passions such works of art create inside a person. Most of what I write will be speculative. There will be times when I will place myself into the mind of the artist. Still other times, I will express the emotions I experience gazing at the work of art. If I get creative, I might even tell the story from an element within the artwork. This Ekphrastic poem is based on a painting by Thomas Eakins entitled The Gross Clinic.  

The Gross Clinic

Trust the science,

They told the woman,

Dressed in mourning clothes.

She knew it was to buy her silence,

In Dr. Samuel D. Gross’s,

Operating theatre.

Her poor son,

A sickly creature,

The first to go under the knife.

While frock coat clad characters,

With cool demeanors

Tried to save his life.

She couldn’t watch,

When the famous surgeons

Fingers became covered in red.

While the artist sketched

And the students studied,

Her sweet son laying on the bed.

It was all such a strange experiment,

A little trial and error if you please,

The patient’s survival a simple test.

The famous surgeon had to admit,

Scientific progress is the important thing,

When finding a cure for any disease.

Who is Molly Shea?

Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh.  To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.

Be sure to follow Molly on Twitter!

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Published by henhouselady

I am the author of Saving the Hen House. I didn't know when I started it would turn into a series. I love to ride motorcycles, the blues, my family, and going on adventures. This old hen rocks.

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