Audrey Shafer, MD
This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.
Just a brief archeological note
A glossy photograph of fossil bones
Prior to excavation.
The baby dwarf, eleven hundred years old, lies
Nestled in his mother's arms.
His thickened cranium rests on her zygoma.
Why did they die
Tears will not fossilize.
An eternal embrace—till science
Rooting and poking
Labeled the remains.
The stillborn is perfectly formed.
Her father sobs. He rocks her as she
The mother lies stirrupped, numb.
Why was the cord so unforgiving.
A brief movement and a rest.
These tiled walls have held much sorrow.
And I am left, to offer kleenex.
Shafer A. Three Mothers. Ann Intern Med. ;112:237. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-112-3-237_2
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 1990;112(3):237.
Copyright © 2018 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use