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Poetry and Medicine
September 16, 2009

Rondel: Déjà Vu

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2009;302(11):1152. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1228

My heart is out of true. No plumb line,
no chalk mark, guides the scribbled line
aligned on valve and wall. What architect
drew the hollow vein? Obsidian knife and Aztec
slew the primal blood. Jerry-built and askew,
      my heart is out of true.
The plumb line is dead-reckoned. Savant:
the auricle's second, the pump clairvoyant;
in half-time beats does a lifetime pass.
Breath, like sands, lassos the hourglass.
Does the circulating blood perceive its déjà vu?
      My heart is out of true.

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