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Poetry and Medicine
February 28, 2001

Late Winter Storm

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2001;285(8):984. doi:10.1001/jama.285.8.984

But not so late you can let it go.
Six slushy inches. Unshoveled, this snow
will slip to ruts with sunset's chill.
Your teenage son is too busy and full
of himself to help, and besides
he prefers a mother who hides
her age. Strong back and hearty vigor please,
and no incipient infirmities.
Nothing new, such adolescent dread.
Who cringed to thread
your mother's needle when her eyes
began to fail? What lies
were you prepared to tell, or hear,
to keep her forever well and near?

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