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Poetry and Medicine
July 28, 2010

Today I Saw

JAMA. 2010;304(4):383. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.671

diabetes in a brown pantsuit
recently widowed, bringing her daughter
for the first time.
Bladder cancer still working
full time after surgery
with two sons to get through college.
A stroke crying and embarrassed
to be unmanly since his release
from the hospital.
A health care checkup squeezed in
before her insurance runs out.
Downsized out of a job.
High blood pressure out of control
from the stress of a daughter
raped at age sixteen.
Recurrent breast cancer smiling.
Thin, but happy to be leaving on her first cruise.
To her I say bon voyage.