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Poetry and Medicine
March 6, 2002

Houston 5, Atlanta 8

JAMA. 2002;287(9):1085. doi:10.1001/jama.287.9.1085

You rest in shadows,
the hospital room unlit
except for the television
that beams Houston at
Atlanta. When you tell us
the doctor has found
one more spot on your lung,
we stare into baseball, watch
Bret Boone slam a double
past opponent Derek Bell.
Boone, Boone, Boone
chant Atlanta's fans
as Bell leaps,
stretches at right field,
and for a moment all cheer
the miss and the victory—
stadium crowds,
a chorus divining scores.
My husband whistles,
you lift arms
dripping with intravenous,
your inhaler misting
crumpled valleys
of your angled bed.
One . . . two . . . three . . .
we count balls, strikes,
breaths, the innings
of men as they fight
their sweet dusty turn
around the bases.

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