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Poetry and Medicine
August 23/30, 2006

Eye of the Storm

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2006;296(8):906. doi:10.1001/jama.296.8.906

Watching snow pad and pack away
berry and thorn, sift onto vein
and serration of leaf, make featureless
profile of stone against stone
as if granite could ravel, blanket
a tangle of stem and tendril still part green, the eye
abandons the nodes that amplify
edge and flicker.
Sheeted hedges close
on fields of light
as in the eye, though no barometer
falls, a pressure like a storm
batters the filaments that splice
an X of gathered photons, lace
the laminated junctions, fling
their coded dispatches to cortex
crimped in the dark occipital vault:
leaves that dispense cascades of sun
and shade, changing the face of stone.
The hand must drip
a prostaglandin potion
onto the pressured eyes:
it tarnishes the lids;
the lashes coarsen, lengthen, but
in other seasons
when sun hones the edge
of every leaf
and stones stand dappled in the uncut fields,
still, at each filament's address
in unseen bone,
striated ranges wake
to the delivered light.

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