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Poetry and Medicine
October 25, 2006


Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2006;296(16):1942. doi:10.1001/jama.296.16.1942

How hard it is all sober and alone,
after years of dancing, fights and song,
in noisy barrooms he’d called home:
though he knows he must not forget,
the drunken desperation,
the angry fits,
the soul sickness and regret,
the family he destroyed,
the haunting fears,
the bleak uncoiling of the long black years.
Sitting still and quiet in the dark,
green and steamy upon a steady knee,
he balances a cup of herbal tea.

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