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Poetry and Medicine
March 19, 2008


Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2008;299(11):1232. doi:10.1001/jama.299.11.1232

i’m trying to follow your wishes
work hard
find something you love to do
and just go for it
we had our plans
the future before the diagnosis
art and painting for me
politics for you.
but after five months
the artist brushes are heavy
they seem stuck in rubber cement and
moving them around the canvas
to put the paint down
became difficult.
i’m sure you’d say just push through
don't get lost in your head.
easy words for you
i was there
when your screams reverberated through the city in the middle of the night
i was there
to hold you, to give you kisses
to whisper hope in your ear
yes you had plenty of friends and they were all very encouraging
but i was there
when death leaned hard and
you struggled to keep him hidden from friends and family
you're not here now
to help me
when i really could use your hugs and whispers
to carry me along
and lighten the brushes
brighten the days
erase the clouds
when emptiness heaps up and
rushes over me
in an avalanche of loneliness.

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