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Poetry and Medicine
November 6, 2018


Author Affiliations
  • 1Newton, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2018;320(17):1820. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.7872

  *And in the slumber of tree and stone captured in her dream,
    is the city who sits solitary, and in her heart, a wall.

Stones wither. They are worn and old,
fallen from the stars a billion years ago,
soon to be sand. Birds nest in their crevices,
grass grows from their scars.
The stones mock the heart, harden it;
it shatters within.
Then the stone is a weapon and the wall a prison.
Let the heart beat free and give life to the stone—
the domes of gold and the stones golden in the sun.
The heart beats early in the embryo and is born.
The stones will crumble.
The heart sings of the soul with every breath
and if the soul is a wall it cannot hold the heart’s fragile hope.
Let there be peace between the stones
and the hearts who nest in them, as the birds
nest in the grasses that grow from their scars.

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