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Poetry in Pediatrics
May 2013

H. I. E.

JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(5):428. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.642

You are G-tube, trach-dependent,
deaf, blind, devastated, orphaned, forgotten,
and 2 years old today.
You are an incredible teacher.
You are
cerebral palsy,
septic shock,
multidrug-resistant organisms,
broad-spectrum antibiotics,
pulmonary edema,
acute renal failure,
fluid resuscitation,
chest compressions,
sinus tachycardia.
I wonder . . . do you dream?
Of peppermint breezes and thrumming valleys,
burning bushes and albino woods,
bottomless sun and twisting caverns,
marshmallow clouds and rose-petal rains.
Of swiftwater farms with slow-flowing trickles
over cotton rocks past hand-dripped castles
under deafening moonrises through endless time
without shadow.
Without a shadow.
Of a doubt.
You are neither a carrot nor a cucumber.
What gift can I give you?
I will still say “good morning” when I enter your room.
Happy birthday.

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