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Poetry and Medicine
August 6, 2014


Author Affiliations
  • 1Amherst, Massachusetts

Copyright 2014 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2014;312(5):561. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.4652

You arrived festooned in scars—
multiple lacerations on both knees,
chin, one shoulder. Lower,
a long highway, saber-curved,
outlines the course of battle
to save your left kidney.

I also came ribboned
in wounded flesh. Ankle,
knee, wrist, and my poor palms,
scored from surgeries. My life
lines, interrupted, have confused
the most intuitive fortune teller.

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