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Poetry and Medicine
February 15, 2012


Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor. Poems may be submitted to jamapoems@jama-archives.org.

Author Affiliation: Knoxville, Tennessee (rbelcher@utmck.edu)

JAMA. 2012;307(7):643. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.2010

With the stroke of the hand
of the hospital clock,
the minutes passed.
   The sun set and
      the sun rose.
We think of monotony.
We think of waste.
We think of the ticking,
   the stretching,
      the dragging.
As I watched the sun set,
she awoke in her bed:
standard blue sheets,
   blue veins,
      (blue eyes).
The words were also in blue,
but I didn't understand.
   As I watch the sun set from the hospital window
   my mother wakes and asks if she missed breakfast.
This is the way that time stops
This is the way that time stops
This is the way that time stops
Not with a stroke but a clock.

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