Neurosurgeons Can Still Ride Horses

— A Narrative Poem by: Jane Lou —

With Dedication to Mr. Annett of Vincent Massey Secondary School, who left me with the most practical piece of advice:

“Remember, your passion doesn’t necessarily have to be your career. Become a neurosurgeon, and you’ll still have plenty of time to ride horses.”


Stories of fairies, a king, and sometimes his queen

Often involve good guys,

Bad guys,

And some guys in-between.

There are magic forests and enchanted spells,

Flying horses,

And bright pink elves.

A prince usually rides up on his talking horse,

And comes to save the day with secrets from God knows which source.

But our story involves no such things,

For our tale entails a girl who found her own two wings.

The report begins not on the isle of Cappa Pronto,

But in the modern-day ghettos of back-town Toronto.

Our heroine is a dancer to say of some sort,

But usually photography was her field in sport.

Despite her mathy friends and those who went to business school,

She packed her bags (to some like a fool),

And went to study art as a theme,

For being an artist – or so it would seem –

Was her most important of all dreams.

After many moons of paints and oil,

Our heroine’s image of art began to spoil.

Her studies revealed to her some kind of truth,

That talent wasn’t all that mattered in her scholastic youth.

There was much to be learned about the history of art,

Yet not so much inspiration for her to take her own part.

Here she remembered the wise words of a dear old friend,

A teacher who “Remember, with these words I send,”

Said “Your passion doesn’t have to be your career,”

And leaning in so his students could hear,

“Become a neurosurgeon and,”

“You’ll still have time to ride the horses of the land.”

Thus it became a compromise,

A plan that was perhaps much more wise:

A mixture of her passion for creative expression,

And the traditional methods of management profession.

Now she studies not only Paris post eighteen-twelve,

But math and business and other subjects in themselves.

For to bring an audience to the field she held most dear,

Brought the greatest happiness and joy sincere.

Thus concludes our bland little story,

Of a girl who found satisfaction without the need for glory.

Now there are only two words left that I have penned,

And they are unfortunately,

The end.


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