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Books, Journals, New Media
February 25, 2004


Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(8):1005. doi:10.1001/jama.291.8.1005-a

Gus said
the doctor said
they need to put
five thin catheters into his boy's heart
tomorrow. One
to feel the pressure; one
for electromagnetic measuring; one
to look through; one
to tell the amount of oxygen
in the blood. And one more
to cut with—
tiny stainless steel scissors
sharp as razors to snip out
bits of bad tissue.
There's nothing those thin tubes won't see
when they start
snaking around
in the young boy's heart.
Gus said the doctor said
cutting's not the issue,
healing is. I said
if I could sing at all
like an angel I would, for him,
and if those slippery tubes came down
wiggling around, looking
in my old blue-black plum, sure, they might see
fear in me, wet and clotted up,
threaded knots of love.
—Arthur J. Stewart

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