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Poetry and Medicine
September 27, 2016

Passions in Every Room

Author Affiliations
  • 1Neurology Consultants, Salem, Oregon
JAMA. 2016;316(12):1320. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.7312

for Luis

Finding my way through a bramble
of monitors tangled in the dense
undergrowth of thorny data.
It is easy to lose my way
in the forest of morning rounds—
this dark wood thick with prickly questions.

Imperfect strangers become
perfect patients.
Personalities baroque
as the 50-year-old Hispanic man
admitted yesterday with back pain.
In prison for 19 years (in America for 20).
Arms, chest, and thick neck

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