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Poetry and Medicine
March 10, 2015

The Doctor’s Kit

Author Affiliations
  • 1McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics, University of Texas Medical School, Houston
JAMA. 2015;313(10):1063. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.16832

Another game of keep up the yellow balloon
in the living room, when his three-year-old, Luna,
pauses, changes the mood by pronouncing
the sun suddenly sick—more than a touch
of its former buoyancy somehow diminished.

“I’ll get my doctor’s kit,” she announces,
marching off, leaving him alone
to hold her sunken star. Darkness falls
by the coffee table. Her physician-father waits
like a patient. The divorce has been a strain.
He sighs, checks his messages, loosens his tie.