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Poetry and Medicine
October 3, 2001

On a Wizardless Ward

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2001;286(13):1550. doi:10.1001/jama.286.13.1550

About a billion viruses and one
scared diploid version of God's image
struggle under covers. Vast Ocean,
I am too young, says a drop of free will
cascading into automaton. Swell;
come, says the encroaching jungle, swell
despite Lasix and drown. Who's that?
The woman who's known me for thirty-three years
stares at my bed like a stranger—
All dying people are frogs.
Here he comes, says the other blank side of the wall—
I can't stay like this. And you won't,
says Death; the Good Witch of the North's
wand in an ancient, chthonic hand
waves over his head and transforms him—
Another semi-conscious traveler
halfway to Oz on a bedpan
falls back to Kansas; then Kansas dissolves.

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