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Poetry and Medicine
November 5, 2008

Scintilla

Author Affiliations
 

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

JAMA. 2008;300(17):1975. doi:10.1001/jama.300.17.1975

While jogging, I perceived a light
fixed in my gaze at lower right.
A softly strobing stellate spot,
a smudge my eyelids couldn't blot.
The cause I first hypothesized:
my sunglasses were polarized.
I took them off, the spot stayed still:
its source must be inside my skull.
I closed one eye, and then the next.
It stayed, which placed it in my cortex.
Could God be playing some cruel joke?
A migraine? Seizure? Tumor? Stroke?
While wondering which one I most feared,
quite mercifully, it disappeared.

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