[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Citations 0
Poetry and Medicine
July 13, 2011

Intensive Care

Author Affiliations

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

Author Affiliation: University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Preston Medical Library, Knoxville, Tennessee (djdoyle@utmck.edu)

JAMA. 2011;306(2):134. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.849

Now that you have been there
you recognize them, bodies
a languid blend of love and loss,
every movement fluid, as if
limbs have been surrendered by bones.
No language for this limbo, an island
where time is measured by visiting hours,
and purpose shines clear as the world
that seems to remain outside these walls.
Later is filled with wandering,
each step a pooled reminder
of liquid without a vessel,
the wading between widow and wife.