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Poetry and Medicine
July 8, 2009

House of Clocks

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2009;302(2):126. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.833

My parents are 176 years old. At least
one clock is visible from everywhere
in their house. A pendulum swings
or a regulator oscillates or the digitals
silently blink. My parents have only recently
considered, being out of time, that
time is all.
I climb from the bed
in the glow of dawn through the blinds,
having shut off the alarm. I prowl
through their silent house in search
of breakfast, and the narrowest
of newspapers. Soon we must agree
to still the pendulum, to turn
the clocks to the wall.

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