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Poetry and Medicine
December 7, 2005

Letter to a Dying Man

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2005;294(21):2672. doi:10.1001/jama.294.21.2672

It is not easy
to be the one who waits,
the one who remembers.
Those things
never fall softly
through the fingers,
Landing like
a green leaf
on the grass.
Those things
are more like the pain
in a missing limb,
A photo of us
found yellowed in a box
among forgotten things.
To begin, the survivors
can never say that
this dying has its end.

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