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Poetry and Medicine
April 25, 2001

Post-Compressionism Spring

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2001;285(16):2053. doi:10.1001/jama.285.16.2053

My mother
wears a shawl of lacy bone,
veined ribbons over translucent flesh,
cubist ossa cast like Paris arrondissements:
first and second cervical, fifth metacarpal.
A painting,
she stares with gaze unyielding,
tufts of hair unkempt, bedclothes askew,
a framed pointillist palette of moles and spots
propped against the sofa with a hot pink backdrop.
Her blue period—
she laments her bruised and swollen age,
twists in disbelief at fate's break of neck and spirit,
yearns for the spring garden beyond her reach
where vertebrae of blossoms press against pained glass.

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