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Poetry and Medicine
March 3, 2015

Malignancy of the Mind

Author Affiliations
  • 1State University of New York, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse
JAMA. 2015;313(9):973. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.15118

He sits in a chair, rubbing his head
strewn with liver spots and marks
of years gone by, with a thin hand
attached to a weak, withering body
like so many others that you’ve seen before.

At first glance, the diagnoses tumble
around in your brain and argue with
each other before he’s even spoken a word.
You work him up to break him down into
pieces of a man that you can cure.

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