[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Citations 0
Poetry and Medicine
August 25, 2004

Canção Brasileiro

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2004;292(8):902. doi:10.1001/jama.292.8.902

He recedes in long decline
On a rented bed erected
In his room. And next it
One thick step, a twist and slide
To the commode, whose seat
Is raised so he can stand
And pivot with one hand
On rail, and turn in his retreat
To bed. Now he's lying prone
In clutch with memory
Gathered in and then released
Again. Alone
He lifts his chin, expands his chest
And sings a song whose rhythm,
Diphthongs and elisions
In Portuguese make perfect sense,
A Brazilian love song
With a melody that ends
And rhythm that begins
Too long, too late, too long.