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Poetry and Medicine
January 10, 2007

Picking Flowers

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2007;297(2):136. doi:10.1001/jama.297.2.136

Your refrigerator door
 is a crazy quilt
of death and life:
 a yellowed form
from the state
 reads, “Do Not Resuscitate”;
dog-eared photos
 show you beaming
as mother and wife.
 Those instructions
I sent you
 for stopping nosebleeds—
sit up, lean forward, compress—
 sit right beside
your grandson’s
 crayon sketch:
 in your Julia Child apron,
 you are ever
the reigning spirit
 of this house.
Today, you wheel yourself
 into the kitchen,
pause before the fridge
 and sigh.
You nudge
 that Monet magnet
to the right.
 The “DNR”
 beneath a blue sky
and a field
 of wild poppies.

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