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Poetry and Medicine
September 13, 2016

Like a Garment

Author Affiliations
  • 1Newton, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2016;316(10):1117. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.6949

Lift up your eyes to the heavens and look on the earth beneath,

for the heavens will vanish like smoke and the earth wear away like a garment…

Isaiah 51:6

I am a seam between threads
a broken warp knotted
into the waiting of time
a loom weight from a window that has closed
in a fallen house of childhood
when its years are done.
Deep in the blanket are weaves that protect—
a map opening as the earth abides
in a place far from walls and human hands.
Mere animals, we have no choice.
“Feel the wool,” my father said.

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