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Poetry and Medicine
March 23/30, 2005

The Somnambulist

Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor. Poems may be submitted to charlene_breedlove@jama-archives.org.

JAMA. 2005;293(12):1426. doi:10.1001/jama.293.12.1426

I think I dreamed up this life—all the hot
Sweetness, the global colors and the icy pain.
I glimpsed all through a prism from a secret spot
Where I’d found shelter on this dark terrain.
I have perceived lapsed time through the wrong end
Of a telescope. Within an eye blink,
All has passed. Yes, space is curved, it can bend.
I learn the hard way: it is later than I think.
Spiders scurry. Dragonflies fly surveillance
As their yellow clouds of eggs float downstream.
Petals unfurl. There is no resemblance
Of these gentle things to lurid stuff I dream.
I cannot come to terms, nor reconcile
The seeming with the true, for yet awhile.

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