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Poetry and Medicine
July 20, 2011

Storm Damage

Author Affiliations

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

Author Affiliation: Preston Medical Library, University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville (

JAMA. 2011;306(3):245. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.850

Windows weep.
Hibiscus blooms
lie in wadded clumps,
flat funeral handkerchiefs
the hummingbird
cannot enter.
How to make better,
worlds where atrophy
rains repetition?
How to sweep,
straighten debris
when the body
plods heavy,
wakes under
water, another dream
gone unwell?
Every morning, we lean
against kitchen counters,
swallow sip after sip,
cups of breath-cooled loss.

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