Audrey Shafer, MD
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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. 1990;112:237. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-112-3-237_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1990;112(3):237.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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