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Poetry and Medicine
May 10, 2006


Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2006;295(18):2114. doi:10.1001/jama.295.18.2114

Pain is the bully in the play yard
who waits to follow you home.
She is the one who wakes the baby.
She is your worst lesson.
A thief in the shadow, she steals
your days. Night becomes a tight cell.
The body is her accomplice,
she lays siege, sets up camp
in the bones, their tender openings.
Pain sets her traps, mine fields
we must cross.
Still and breathing,
we can hear pain's music
rise and fall, a spike
crescendos, then fades away.
Like fire, she tempers.
Like water, she finds weakness,
seeps along a fissure
to open granite at the core.
She will be your companion.
She is already waiting for you
at the door with her promises.
She knows the way.
She will be with you to the end.