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Poetry and Medicine
July 18, 2012

Night View, Pediatric Oncology

Author Affiliations

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

Author Affiliation: Bedford, Massachusetts (

JAMA. 2012;308(3):219. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.3627

Late November's
   vagrant geese
arc south
   beneath the Pleiades,
winging toward
   the Archer's arrow.
In your tenth-floor room,
   the IV drips
in ceaseless time.
   We wait for strangers
to match your marrow.
Daughter, in all
   the star-strewn heavens,
there's only one of you—
   what cannibal God
would gorge
   on a child's bones?
If dying
   calls for faith,
I’ll place mine
   in the Eocene cry
of the constant,
   pagan geese.

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