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Poetry and Medicine
May 16, 2001


Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2001;285(19):2422. doi:10.1001/jama.285.19.2422

My brother's face is fading in the sun.
I am embraced by his looming shadow
in these photographs from 1951
curling where they settled by the window
on the day he died. I still remember
the way he used to brace himself to pose
with me by leaning against whatever
the latest grievance offered. His smile knows
what it knows and his eyes are all but closed
as he stands in the glare of that winter sun
from which there is still nothing to shield
us. Now as he is washed by light I know
his image dwindles at its most exposed.
I have lost a brace of brothers in one.

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