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Poetry and Medicine
May 25, 2011


Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor. Poems may be submitted to

JAMA. 2011;305(20):2045. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.498

The sun heats the breeze
as it dances across
the sand,
kissing, toasting the worshipers who
lie below
paying homage.
The waves bow at their feet
like supplicants in a bread line,
begging for life
only to be drawn away by their despair.
Warmth brings joy, hope and
In me resides only cold and apathy,
for the company of Churchill's
black dog is all I am afforded today,
unbidden but relentless.
Loved ones cry at him:
here, leave her, go home.
They stomp their feet in fear and anger
but he persists
—loyal companion.
The whispers float.
What have you to be depressed about?
You who have all.
save the mettle to call forth
a smile.

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