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Poetry and Medicine
June 6, 2012

Old Together

Author Affiliations

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

Author Affiliation: Wheaton, Illinois (

JAMA. 2012;307(21):2234. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.3560

Our moments collide
in empty rooms,
long shadows on the walls,
the old-fashioned clock on the bookcase
chiming Westminster.
Most times we ignore each other,
you at your books, I at my verse,
when suddenly ice clatters on the pane,
a train shudders in the distance,
reminding us that we are
here, awake, a still life in yesterday's
cracked bowl, I a bruised apple,
you a yellow pear, our skins touching,
the afternoon light winging over us
like some bright butterfly.

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