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Poetry and Medicine
February 2, 2011

Lung Song

Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor. Poems may be submitted to

JAMA. 2011;305(5):443. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.2009

In pockets of the lungs
forgotten griefs sleep.
Curled up in the alveoli
they pulse a thick blue-gray
imperceptible except
for the catches in the breath,
the shallow diver unable
to explore the deep,
the rich leagues below
left untouched,
the pains of the past
hardening into shells
composite of silt and sand
too far from the currents
irrigating the canals
of exhale, inhale, exhale.

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