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Poetry and Medicine
March 24/31, 2015

Trumpets at Her Bedside

Author Affiliations
  • 1Careco Mental Health Services, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2015;313(12):1272. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.18476

The ambiguous smile veils her inner self,
    dares the stampede,
    welcomes sleep and daybreak.
Our session over, I open the door. She halts me,
    pans the beasts on empty chairs.
    “Let them go first.”

She urges them to hush; the elephants climb out of my office,
    trudge across the street, onto the city bus.
    She follows in matriarchal triumph.