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Poetry and Medicine
March 28, 2012

News From Our Corner

Author Affiliations

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

Author Affiliation: Chester County Hospital, West Chester, Pennsylvania (

JAMA. 2012;307(12):1234. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.164

You said we needed to
make some decisions
about how much to do
and not do and how
long but all we could
agree on was how Dad
was a fighter now you
must hear that all the
time but we mean in
the war his unit had a
boxing club when he
says it was sport not
casino show he boxed
guys in other units'
clubs not to kill each
other with too much
and enough killing all
’round already he was
never knocked out but
one split decision bout
he lost on points and
later always used the
game-talk as when he
was ahead in annual
sales he told the firm's
other guys to step into
the ring or whenever
anyone asked how he
was holding up in work
and love and life he said
still answering the bell
so after your tallies of
tolls of heart failure
pneumonia white cells
ventilator lactate what
counts are up cultures
albumin what counts
are down we went to
see him and he opened
his eyes now maybe it
was IV pump chirp mix-
up and the look Unit
punch drunk fog but
the news from our
corner is to go a
round or two more
and recount the score.

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