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Poetry and Medicine
December 12, 2001

Sonnet for Jack

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2001;286(22):2783. doi:10.1001/jama.286.22.2783

Jack Ronan Coulehan
16 May 2001

Make sure you stay in. Your warm, aqueous place
has plenty of layers of safety and such
solid good sense, facts that can't be erased
by publicists for the outside. They'll say touch,
in a many-textured world will be better
for you, and your hearing keener, and vision
more splendid—out of sight. And if you let her,
your mother—who's more than you imagine
she is—will teach you all. Innumerable
others will be there, too. But hold back. Just stay
inside where you belong, for miserable
stuff goes on out here, and there are so many ways
to screw up. But, no. An unexpected pain
arrives, and with it—us. Well, grandson, welcome.

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