JACK COULEHAN, M.D.
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Stories of the sick
keep welling up long after
it could make any difference.
Take the swooning perennial.
I stand still, the room begins
to shift, my stomach churns.
The vertigo she suffered
tosses me soundly
when I least expect it.
Once upon a time
she walked among the commonplace,
had a breakfast of marmalade, toast,
a little work in the garden.
She waved after the neighbors
running for their buses.
One day she put down the trowel,
intended to stand, but felt
herself caterwaul. . . slowly,
like a petal in a current
until her head hit the ground.
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COULEHAN J. The Hearty Perennial. Ann Intern Med. 1988;108:778. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-108-5-778
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;108(5):778.
Copyright © 2017 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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