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Poetry and Medicine
November 19, 2014

Night Nurse

Author Affiliations
  • 1Medscape Medical News, St Louis, Missouri
JAMA. 2014;312(19):2047-2048. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.8207

Midnight, and I'm trembly weak,
flat on my back with a mending heart
they had to stop to save. My nurse
swings open the door into the dark
and eyes the little jug of blood
drained from my chest. Tubes and lines

sprout from my body, just as lines
sprout from a play. I'll spend a week
in white rooms while they study my blood's
thinness, pressure, the rate my heart
pumps it around the pipes in darkness.
It beads bright on my thumb when my nurse

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