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Poetry and Medicine
February 16, 2005

Is It I

JAMA. 2005;293(7):778. doi:10.1001/jama.293.7.778

bent like a twisted paper clip,
clutching a metal walker
or riding a shopping cart
across a parking lot for balance?
Is it I
with bits of scrambled egg
stuck on my whiskered chin,
eyes cloudy as sour milk,
mouth gumming mashed fruit?
Is it I,
logician, philosopher,
reader of books, queen of poems,
struggling to read the day’s headlines,
squinting at the label on a soup can?
Is it I,
shuffling half-clothed through the streets
at midnight, humming a fragment of song
to the moon hanging on a branch,
forgetting my way home?

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