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Poetry and Medicine
January 7, 2009

One Question

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2009;301(1):16. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.832

I ask the Parkinson's patient
how she wants to live:
   “purposefully, like rain.”
      I imagine high clouds—
      angry water motionless
      over a wide Mesozoic desert.
   the stroke patient:
   “whole, like a symphony.”
      I take notes about notes—
      listening for silent spaces.
   the Alzheimer's patient:
   “aware, like Spring.”
      I see seeds scattered
      by wind—
      what they hold.

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