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Poetry and Medicine
April 5, 2006

Longing

JAMA. 2006;295(13):1489. doi:10.1001/jama.295.13.1489

Alone after the cord is cut we slip
into this world to start our search
for a place of belonging. Every inch
of skin exposed, stung by thin air,
we long to be nestled in cupped palms,
safe, surrounded, warm. There are times
we settle for anyone who’ll have us, yet
all the while we're vigilant for
a better match, the right fit, alert
for threads to knit together. And when
at last we’ve woven a web, a gossamer web
of connectedness, we’ll sit content until
blind and nearly deaf, we feel, one
by one, the outer threads begin to snap,
those minute tugs that signal us
we’ll leave as we entered, alone.

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