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Poetry and Medicine
February 25, 2004

Twilight of Dreams

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2004;291(8):918. doi:10.1001/jama.291.8.918

I walk the after path
of the denizens of dreams.
Their wishing now has largely
fallen into shadow,
for day has almost used its stay,
while light toward night must slowly bend.
Shadows form where the hours were
—where resplendence glared, thick,
and where it glared, thin—
and it is time for my patrol again,
for each evening, at ten,
time sends me down these retirement center byways,
past room after room of those I know,
who are slipping from the light.
I find myself compelled to join the dimness
as my security guard hand must reach for switches
to extinguish half the illumination;
yet, as I watch every other glow go out,
so, too, do I see every second glow live on.
And, slowly, in weak beauty,
I sense that
it is twilight which forms
through these halls of last dreams.

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