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Poetry and Medicine
October 13, 2010

National Canyon, Day 16

Author Affiliations
 

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

JAMA. 2010;304(14):1531. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1345

For one moment all I hear
is the beating of my heart
and the timeless exhalation
of the canyon walls. Three turns
and the river-roar's erased,
one turn more—the burble and plash
of the side-canyon stream. Raven
cackles. Cat-claw acacia motionless.
Ochre dust marks the path on boulders
where others have passed before.
Time has ceased. I am here
as I have always been here, as
I will always be here, my dust
in this dust, my water in this water,
my bones and these stones mingled.
A breath of breeze up-canyon,
and my breath, saying yes.

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