From Our Colleague: Priya Radhakrishnan, MD, FACP – Q2 2023

The Accent


She walked the streets of New York

With five dollars for the day

She stopped at Starbucks

Pressed her nose to the door

Sat outside till the crowd thinned

She stepped into a Starbucks

Her thirst was strong

She stood in line

Timid was she for this was a first

 She was taken aback

When suddenly swarms of people did come

She sauntered in from the cold

Stylish she thought she was

 Little did she know

That others saw her as gauche

All she desired was a taste of home

Where they called it ‘expresso’

The corner café served the yummy drink

Frothy, sugary milk with a touch of coffee

 With an almond biscuit on the side

Was manna from Heaven

She stood in line

All she wanted was her ‘expresso’

When her turn came

She stammered her order

Burnt by the scorn that Barista added to her order

When she got her coffee

It was black and dark

Bitter as the humiliation she felt

There was no trace of the milky frothy goodness of her childhood drink

For in America her ‘expresso’

Was a cappuccino

An almond biscuit there was none

Her language was foreign

Her accent too thick

 She sipped her coffee

She was naive

She was sad



Priya Radhakrishnan, MD, FACP

Dr. Radhakrishnan is Chair of the Board of Governors, American College of Physicians