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Poetry and Medicine
April 14, 2010

Sundowning

Author Affiliations
 

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

JAMA. 2010;303(14):1345. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.304

Late in the day memory shatters
like a broken mirror, edges
jagged and dangerous, nothing
you’d want to touch. Holes open
where there's no image at all,
where before has crumbled into never,
a child forgotten, a home
gone dark. Sometimes the light
reflects, changed, a daughter
becomes a sister, the dead
rise to speak. Futile to try
to fill in the gaps, although
we try: get out the tape,
talk through the glue. Watching
that sun ease down, we sweep
up pieces, look for meaning
in shards, hold them hoping for
one final diamond flash
of light.

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