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Poetry and Medicine
December 20, 2016

Winter Solstice 2016

Author Affiliations
  • 1Newton, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2016;316(23):2554. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.1691

Through this body blows a wind of memories,
people, places, times, and names.
To this body comes the rain.
In this body burns the pain of pressured nerves
and the grind of worn-out bones.
Through this body two loved children came
now grown and far away—
through this body though alone
comes life still blazing with the flesh
that tilts as Earth does toward its end
and will be touched some day
by hands I will not know.
I see the downy at the suet
and the fox who passed this way,
and as the spinning planet spins
return to dreams of sheltering
beneath its wings.

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