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Poetry and Medicine
September 26, 2001

The Stroll

Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2001;286(12):1422. doi:10.1001/jama.286.12.1422

A tepid summer breeze
is soughing in her ears
like the whispered confidences
of her long deceased sister
whose name hovers
just beyond her grasp.
She has momentarily
escaped the watchful gaze
of her round-the-clock nurse.
A block from her residence
she sees a child picking daisies,
a child at once herself,
her daughter, and a stranger.
The daisies seem familiar
despite their namelessness,
dotting the vacant lot
like white surprises.
She manages a smile
and ambles on
in her sleeveless nightgown,
exposing white shoulders
on which a sun
she cannot name,
with the intimacy
of a lifelong friend,
lays its golden hands.