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Poetry and Medicine
April 12, 2000

Bedside Rounds

Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2000;283(14):1795. doi:10.1001/jama.283.14.1795

I thought of bedside rounds
when my landscape architect called to ask
if it was okay to bring an intern with her.
Of course, I say,
remembering the many years I enjoyed teaching
and the few times the housestaff
honored me
with the Best Teacher award.
So today she's here to help me reshape
the back lawn to support
structurally and aesthetically
a new bluestone walk, its slow curve
leading to a new red cedar porch.
For sure,
this is not a matter of life or death
but after an hour
of traipsing around with her yellow tape
and spray can of orange, water-soluble paint,
asking the intern what she thinks of this border
or that elevation
I begin to resent them
—the little games they play.
Who's lawn
do they think they're talking over