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Poetry and Medicine
January 3, 2001


Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2001;285(1):17. doi:10.1001/jama.285.1.17

Slow progress, weeding
the scraggly Vinca bed.
Creeping Charlie strings
small flowers through the gloss-leaved, patchwork vines. One tug
unearths long chains of frilled and rootless stems.
It will come back.
But not before I uproot dandelions
my mother loved, rip out plantain
leaves, slim stalks we stripped
with childish thumbs.
So tear at quack grass, crab,
reclaiming space for shoots.
Perhaps next year
the periwinkle will prevail
against the rotting oak leaves, maple wings,
regenerate bamboo.
Hope spreads
on patches of cleared ground.

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