so much depends upon
a red wheel barrow
glazed with rain water
beside the white chickens

The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams, M.D.
Published in Spring and All (1923)

The Red Wheelbarrow is a student-run magazine for the literary and visual arts at the UVM Larner College of Medicine. Named after physician-writer William Carlos Williams’ poem, “The Red Wheelbarrow,” (shown above) the publication aims to capture, cultivate and explore the creative endeavors of the medical and scientific communities, including alumni, at UVM and its clinical education partners.

Published annually, The Red Wheelbarrow encourages submissions related to the medical humanities—an interdisciplinary field that strives to contextualize and interpret topics including, but not limited to, the medical profession and education, and human health and disease. It also remains inclusive of all ideas and artistic pursuits outside the scope of the medical humanities.

Submissions from all members of the Larner College of Medicine are welcome, including the UVM graduate health sciences and biomedical programs, and our clinical affiliates. Selections from this edition are below. To see more, view The 2023 Red Wheelbarrow online. VM 


UVM Watertower Art by Arnie Goran, MD

Arnie Goran, M.D.'58, He/Him, Larner College of Medicine Watertower

I want to apologize

Thuymy-Michelle Nguyen, Class of 2026, She/They
Katherine Walsh, M.D., PCR Advisor

I want to apologize
At this intersection, you are dazed
The treatment from your fall gained you a new knee
I ask for your story but
At this intersection, your words elude you
What only escapes instead is
“You speak really good English”

I want to apologize
We are only meeting in passing
The impact of your words run deeper than our interaction
“You speak really good English”
I used to wear that with pride.
By age seven, I chased this sensation—
Acceptance by exception.

I want to apologize
You will heal from this juncture
But I can’t help to think
At age sixteen, a white woman screaming
“Speak English or leave!”
My mom was just asking
What it was I wanted for dinner

How was my mother not shaking?
Being told off caused by her native communication
How did I not see
“You speak really good English”
Was an affront to our family?
It brought tears to my mother’s eyes—
Another way to lose her old life
I want to apologize


Collage by John Rustad

John Rustad, Class of 2026, He/Him, Valley Junction, Katherine Walsh, M.D., PCR Advisor


Sarah Kohl, Class of 2026, She/Her/Hers
Caroline Hesko, M.D., PCR Advisor

My life has always been defined by red.
I remember the red hamper when I was young. I remember being dropped out of it and hitting my head.
And then I don’t remember.
My world is now on fire.
Yellow and crimson flames lick at the house I grew up in, the only home I had known until this point.
The nightmares about the heat and smoke have not stopped, even 50 years later.
I have been running from the fire my whole life, and now my son runs toward it, braver than I will ever be.
My children astonish me every day with their strength, despite how they grew up.
I stayed with their mother longer than I should have, longer than I could have.
Sickness was no excuse for the searing abuse hurled at my children. I stayed to protect them.
Fiery, red anger fills me now.
This fire is different from what keeps me from what I love doing most in this world.
The rush of pinning my opponent to the mat is unlike any other.
Feeling the tension of a joint as I twist it, almost to the breaking point.
But the pain. Every joint, every muscle aching, keeping me from my passion.
I clutch at my chest, the burning now inside of me.
Ruby blood pumps through my arteries, blocked from where needed most.
I can leave soon and will continue my scarlet-tinged life.
But soon I will be defined by blues, browns, and greens.
I will go home to my farm and my animals and my plants.
And no more red.

poster with rainbow colored hair and cutout place for a face

Mallory Stultz, Class of 2026, She/Her, Self Expression,
Alison Fitzgerald, M.D., PCR Advisor

To Listen

Ian Strohbehn, Class of 2026, He/Him
Frank Ittleman, M.D., PCR Advisor

So many twists and turns
Had brought Richard to where he was now
Sitting in a room on Miller 3
Long wispy white hair and beard Keeping warm under a blanket
We could have talked about his hospital stay
How aneurysms in both legs required surgery
What medications he was on
If he liked the hospital food

But instead we talked about his winding path
His time at Goddard College
Where he ran not one but two radio shows
And befriended the future members of Phish
But was later kicked out

We talked about his life afterwards
His odd jobs
His mental health diagnoses
His loss of two close friends to overdoses
His loneliness

Mostly we talked about what kept him going
Where he said little about other things
He gushed about music
The many bands he had seen live
The instruments he played
The differences in sound quality
Between then versus now

He described music in ways I had never heard
But that made complete sense when he said them
Like how music can sound
Like the items towards the front of a shop window
Or like the items far in the back

Despite his arduous life
More difficult than anything I had endured
He had something that made it worthwhile
And I wondered
What would be my one thing
If I were in his shoes?

His life will still be hard after leaving the hospital
No car to drive to the grocery store
Limited mobility to get to the bus
Few friends to help him out
I wanted to lend a hand
But all I could do was listen

green and pink hues in watercolor painting

light and dark green hues in watercolor painting

Sofia Toro Alvarez, Class of 2025, She/Her/Hers,
Pain Takes the Crown (top); I've...Had...Enough of This


a hummingbird at feeder with sunset over the lake

Kim Boyman, M.D.'99, She/Her, Tranquility