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Poetry and Medicine
January 4, 2012

Stocking Up

Author Affiliations

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

Author Affiliation: Seattle, Washington (joannieks@msn.com).

JAMA. 2012;307(1):13. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1861

My son was young, and he said
from his car seat in the back,
Did you get me a new dad?
like stopping at the store for a quart of milk.
The years between us
and the months since his father died
and the days I thought we’d spend
together hung in the voice between us.
I must have started the car,
turned the engine over,
drove away from the question
with a small Not today
and brought my children home,
thought about what had shattered,
being born one mystery of life—
going on, another.