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Poetry and Medicine
September 22/29, 2004

False Spring Is Making Its Rounds

Author Affiliations
 

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

JAMA. 2004;292(12):1410. doi:10.1001/jama.292.12.1410

Pantoum on lines of Alphonse Daudet

False spring is making its rounds this morning.
Darkness is gathering me into its arms.
It's twilight and my nurses are speaking—
You'd think they were talking about flowers.
Darkness is gathering me into its arms
but it isn't unpleasant. I imagine
it is twilight, and my nurses speaking
about a warm meadow. I have no business
here, but it isn't unpleasant. Imagine
the way the nurses talk, "A lovely wound . . ."
In this warm meadow, my wound has no business
turning a sulfurous color and dying.
The way the nurses talk the lovely wound
is my meadow, my body, my daffodils
abloom in sulfurous colors. I'm dying
but loveliness isn't. Let them run laughing
into the meadow, my daffodil body,
my breezes and warm scents, my own case
of loveliness. (But it isn't.) I'll be laughing
and running behind them . . . I wonder why
I imagine breezes and warm scents—my case
is nailed shut. And if the morphine wears off,
where will my running be then? I wonder.
Their bodies are firm; I wish I could touch them.
When the morphine wears off, they'll nail me shut.
False spring is making its rounds this morning.
Their bodies are firm; I wish I could touch them.
It's twilight and my nurses are speaking.

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