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Poetry and Medicine
October 5, 2005

Sometimes at Night

Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor. Poems may be submitted to

JAMA. 2005;294(13):1592. doi:10.1001/jama.294.13.1592

Not to think too much
about that time because
that time is past, and yet
not to forget I almost
lost you.
One morning I abandoned you.
You were so sick! I walked
to where the street dead-ended
above a cliff, collapsed there,
cried out to the sudden sky,
Take her! Let it be over!
I lived that day without you.
Sometimes at night I stand
upon that cliff and grieve:
When I whispered in your ear,
Hold on, we’ll pull you through,
the conviction in my voice was faked.
Forgive me; I lost hope.
Then, your warm breath
on my neck, your arm
across my chest.
Crazed with gratitude,
I try to wake you up:
Fern, look! Something
I—we—did not have
has been given back.

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