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Poetry and Medicine
June 9, 2010

It’s a Sign of Spring

Author Affiliations
 

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

JAMA. 2010;303(22):2227. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.612

when street trash and chunks of salt
merge against the curb. The gutter
is the only safe space to walk
home through a city when the gauge
reads thirty and mist freezes
on every hair and twig along the path.
Off pavement, in the woods
behind the park, sprigs of grass
emerge through last week's thaw
and there's a highway of traffic printed
in mud. Even the critters avoid scalloped
ice edges down the game trail. Paw prints
mark activity during these longer days. Up
the creek's a mesh of scratches, commotion
with bone and fur and tracks lead away
in all directions. When I reach the porch,
I notice the woodpile's two-thirds empty,
and chickadees peck back at the feeder.
Today I saw a patient for an eye infection,
looking forward to her shift at the hardware
store. It's time to put together
Lawn and Garden and she can't wait
to find out what's going to be on display.

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