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Poetry and Medicine
December 26, 2007

On Surviving Illness

Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor. Poems may be submitted to

JAMA. 2007;298(24):2836. doi:10.1001/jama.298.24.2836

Pages of books recover
their voices,
a return from
Daylight reaches in
fueling the brilliant
Flower prints on walls
suddenly beckon
as pathways,
portals to walk
through and into
Friend, I made the journey
in and out of chance
and fate
believing in neither
in both.
There aren't words for it,
only poems that swim
or fly in their
complicated way
saying beyond
the saying.
My body is no longer
only a lend for
whatever time,
only a rack for clothes
worn briefly and
traded in
for the haberdashery
of good-bye.
World travels in its
warps of time
sometimes blue
sometimes in pallor
as we stumble, fall

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