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Poetry and Medicine
October 4, 2016

Post-Op Essay

Author Affiliations
  • 1Miami, Florida

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2016;316(13):1413. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.7369

Morning lights from trees canvas the blanket
on my mother’s hospital bed.  She sleeps mid-morning
after a morphine night.  Nurses diligent
as pain clock the luminous hall in rings,
patient as space rubble.  Callous, ravenous
strategems bully matter with the promise, the curse
of incessantness, like the wheel that dies and dies
or its axle.  She’ll sleep through lunch now stirring
the halls with noises and aromas.  Hungers amplify
in our procured condition, refining, spurring
the spirit to a sacred greed to rectify.
But what can strained glints illuminate
beyond need, its rule acute, innate?