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Poetry and Medicine
December 19, 2012

Two Triolets for Lyme Disease

Author Affiliations
 

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

Author Affiliation: Ross, California (beckyfoust@hotmail.com).

JAMA. 2012;308(23):2437. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.13642

1. Morning Hands
I wake, and the Pain God strikes his kitchen match.
Fire that freezes, martyrs mittened in flame,
spitted meat, Dante's damned souls mired in pitch.
I wake, and the Pain God strikes a kitchen match
and touches it to each hand's frail rabbit hutch
of sinew and bone. It burns but does not consume.
I wake, and the Pain God strikes his kitchen match:
Fire that freezes, martyrs mittened in flame.
2. Quarantined
They shrink from me that once did seek
my touch. I am become disease:
Plague, typhoid, AIDS, sickroom reek.
They shrink from me that once did seek.
My best friend got up to fetch a fork
to share the scone my husband will refuse.
They shrink from me that once did seek
my touch. I am become disease.

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