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Poetry and Medicine
March 18, 1998

Sal doesn't shake

Author Affiliations

Edited by Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 1998;279(11):814B. doi:10.1001/jama.279.11.814-b

but he shuffles
trunk hunched
jaw dropped
arms swing-less and
stiff at sides
can't turn on a dime
but must stutter step
around a quarter's corners
parks n' lakes
parkson, parkinson
little lake strokes or
depression are the
doctor's three maybes he
fishes for and finally finds
when kind questions
come in company
but no help yet from
dope, dope-a-mean
I mean I mean
at poker
Sal doesn't shake
or shuffle or deal
but folds with
parks lakes depression
at the park where
he shuffle-walks along the
row of queen anne's
lace he notices tiny
purple petals in the slight
depression at the centers;
a striking violet speck in an
otherwise ocean of flower-head
white which others
moving more
quickly easily
might miss