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Poetry and Medicine
March 8, 2006


Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor. Poems may be submitted to jamapoems@jama-archives.org.

JAMA. 2006;295(10):1103. doi:10.1001/jama.295.10.1103

Here, she is drowning,
pulled under unseen currents.
Cold windows close her
with darkened panes.
If glass were truly liquid,
it might pool against her breath.
Here is where she is frozen.
If only the stars could drop
to comfort the ground,
call themselves cold.
The days of mostly night
descend over tight silence.
She walks through rooms
of dried promises, occasional cobwebs,
the residual wave of hard words.
Each small step might lead
to catastrophe or merely a sigh,
the rare strength of relief.
She cannot name the sob she swallows
here in this house without heat,
or she would ask how to get out,
what it would take to feel warm.