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Poetry and Medicine
January 19, 2011

Unassisted

Author Affiliations
 

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

JAMA. 2011;305(3):228. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1848-a

Today you try to throw away the cane.
You stand on the perilous edge of air,
feeling weight on the new hip,
a metallic guest in an aging body.
You wobble, a precarious debut
for the interior limb, surprised
by instability, and take a step
or two. Hands become flippers
in a sea of carpet, walls, chairs,
your arms wings incapable of flight.

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