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Poetry and Medicine
January 13, 2015

Unanswered Questions

Author Affiliations
  • 1Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts

Copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2015;313(2):204. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.10833

I wonder
Were they kind when they told you?
When they saw your cancer grow?
Dividing and multiplying
Stealing your body’s comforts, your last breath
And time.

I know you by your first name
Not out of disrespect
But an intimacy I hope well earned.
My useless fingers traverse your vacant contour
Fingers that cannot soothe
Cannot heal
Left to explore this abandoned vessel
While the captain peacefully rests ashore.

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