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Poetry and Medicine
November 5, 2019

The Hospital Mail

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center, Worcester
JAMA. 2019;322(17):1721. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.16169

At no particular hour
the door to my room snaps open
to a snuffling yellow paper gown
wearing an orange pleated mask

and extending a rubber-gloved fistful
of mail—envelopes penned
with my name, sealed 2-D visitors
stolen in to console me.

Care bleeds from the ink,
otherwise impotent
to effect Get well soon!
or abracadabra Feel strong!

I split the silence open.
Neither of us has words
to ensure I will improve
or admit I may not survive

Section Editor: Rafael Campo, MD, MA, Associate Editor.
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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Dianne Silvestri, MD (dianne.silvestri@gmail.com).

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

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