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Poetry and Medicine
August 6, 2008

Loss

Author Affiliations
 

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

JAMA. 2008;300(5):481. doi:10.1001/jama.300.5.481

It's hard to make
room for what
is no longer there;
it's so much larger now,
boulders blocking
our throats, our breath.
Even the air
weighs like granite
and fills every waking
space so that moving
becomes an infinite
staying in place,
small gestures pressing,
chafing our flesh.
In time
enclosed in the hot
ash of our grief,
something chisels
pinholes of light;
we feel our breathing
expand around us,
sounds of cracking
signal widening fissures,
rivulets of life come back to us.
One day what we lost
still remains, but we can walk
through it, a stream washing
and lapping our way.

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