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Poetry and Medicine
January 14, 2009

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2009;301(2):138. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.830

Why not something less clinical,
like the sunset blues?
or perhaps, rather, winter's spell?
Till autumn recalls April, dues
are paid in sunshine,
a loss that lights the shortened fuse,
turning kin into things unkind,
thoughts to puddled mud.
Watch a grandfather clock unwind
until one's sense of bad and good
looms inconsistent
as his or her shifting mood,
where nothing makes an impression,
huddled under cover,
but this dissembling depression
over the life of friend and lover,
waiting for the swell
of spring, when hell freezes over.

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