[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 54.197.124.106. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Citations 0
Poetry and Medicine
July 19, 2006

The Prognosis

Author Affiliations
 

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

JAMA. 2006;296(3):258. doi:10.1001/jama.296.3.258

They stick pins in me.
Force me to walk a tightrope without a net.
Spin my head like a world globe.
They bake me in an oven till I glow
Hot as a black coal in a dying fire.
They measure my blood into tiny cups
Telling me there is too much or not enough.
They tell me my exam findings are worrisome.
My breath sounds like butterflies
Beating their ragged wings.
My liver is mottled and weary.
My heart is full of holes
Like an old tire leaking air.
My bones are crumbling to dust.
I need a new set of everything.
They tell me I’m permanently impaired.
That the cause is unknown,
Prognosis uncertain.
They tell me to “wait and see,”
Follow it closely.
They tell me it's nothing.
It's harmless,
Not disabling,
Possibly curable.
I should let it go.
Not struggle,
Never give up hope,
Fight to the end,
Accept my fate,
Swallow the bitter pill.

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview
×