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Poetry and Medicine
October 27, 1999

In Remission

Author Affiliations

Edited by Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 1999;282(16):1502K. doi:10.1001/jama.282.16.1502

This is a spring he never thought to see.
Lean dusky Alaskan geese nibbling grass
seed in his field, early daffodils, three
fawns moving across his lawn in the last
of afternoon light, everything he had
let go with small ceremonies on dark
September nights has suddenly come back.
The taste on his tongue is of tamarind
chutney, fish curry, clove, tangs he adores
above all else. He smells the hyacinth
and can feel hope with the terrible crack
of a thawing river loosen in his heart.
He imagines sailing among the Queen
Charlottes come April, tacking into the wind
that is the kindest he has ever known,
then gentle breakers, golden sanded shores.