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Poetry and Medicine
November 10, 1999

Evening Song

Author Affiliations

Edited by Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 1999;282(18):1700I. doi:10.1001/jama.282.18.1700

A flare of daylight sets my face ablaze
in its frame above her bed as the sun
sinks. Full Indian summer but these days
she is always cold, always wanting one
more layer of clothes or cup of hot tea,
grumbling as she hugs herself and paces.
She feels dark vapors in the air, traces
of dust. This is not where she wants to be.
When she sits, a shard of memory glows
and fades, the past an empty theater gone
dark the moment she arrives, curtain closed,
orchestra never launching into song.
For years she has been slowly going blind,
drawing the world into her corner room
beside the sea, drenched in endless gloom.
I am no longer in my mother's mind.

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