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Poetry and Medicine
April 25, 2007

This Hard April

Author Affiliations
 

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

JAMA. 2007;297(16):1750. doi:10.1001/jama.297.16.1750

The sky crushes
blue this afternoon.
Loss jostles against the light
that filters gold and green
through new leaves
as I travel downhill.
Death feels wrong in such weather.
Cherry blossoms drift across the street—
spent petals linger
like a remnant, a memory
that tugs at the corners.
Grief holds, a stone in the gut,
or a great hollow, as vast
as the heavy sea.
This early mourning is not mine,
but I know the taste of it.
I know the cold arms of that ocean.
The storm stays under my skin,
comes back in a rush.
I forget the way
to smell fresh-cut grass
without sadness, how to lean
into the road ahead. Instead, I feel
the many words for sorry,
and none of them enough.

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