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Poetry and Medicine
July 4, 2001

Sonnet for a Psychotherapist

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2001;286(1):15. doi:10.1001/jama.286.1.15

I could not hold myself. I'd thinned to glass.
Blue-veined with cracks, I hid on a back shelf.
One touch of cold, I fell, I leapt, I smashed.
I wept, swept up the fragments of myself
And offered up to him my slivered hands.
He cupped them to his light and plucked the bits
Into his palm, examined each, began
With care to glue one jagged edge to fit
Another. Slowly I took shape: a vase
To hold a flower. Hours he spent to shim
Bent shards. I stood on such a wobbly base.
To fill my gaps, he gave me glints of him.
One day I'll hold bouquets—how did he know?
For now I give him this, one paper rose.

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