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Poetry and Medicine
September 14, 2005

Gurney

Author Affiliations
 

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

JAMA. 2005;294(10):1185. doi:10.1001/jama.294.10.1185

The policeman descends
the innocent stairs
with my son behind him,
through the house of sharp objects
into the shame of day.
At the back of the ambulance
he says Lie down, but my son won’t
and I have to lift him onto the gurney,
into the restraints, his weight
heavy as betrayal.
He works free.
The EMT says, Are you going
to cooperate or not?
The boy I love lifts his head,
shouts, I hate you all.
There are many words
for heartbreak, and none.
He lets his head sink down
and they take him.

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