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Poetry and Medicine
May 9, 2007

After Chemo

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2007;297(18):1959. doi:10.1001/jama.297.18.1959

Come you home now, love:
 Come you home
to bless our bed.
 Grace me
with the scent
 of your jasmined hair
and leave behind
 the bare stench
of chemistry.
 Come you home,
and let me
 pamper you
with strawberries.
 Leave behind
harsh latex
 and burning needles:
sweeten your tongue
 with coriander.
Come you home,
 and be lovely
in your battered bones,
 and let the doctors
not singe again
 your sullen marrow.
Come now, love,
 and warm our bed,
and be
 the living border
 the quickening dead.
Come home now
 and let me rub you
with oil
 of sandalwood.