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"We call them The Not Dead when they crumple in an easy chair after chemo..."
POETRY OF THE TIMES
We call them The Not Dead
when they crumple in an easy chair
after chemo, our Not Dead caregiver group
lifting them back into the world
where we see each other caress
ripe yellow peaches at Bitteroot Farm,
or nod hello when cozied in a bookstore corner
reading Kübler-Ross On Death and Dying.
And we spread our summer blankets
on the life of Tanglewood’s lawn,
Not Dead cancer survivors sweating
tumor stage and survival rates,
Not Dead caregivers talking healthspan
and longevity, our lives embraced
by Beethoven’s urgent melodies,
the fresh cut grass a living carpet
where all of us lay down and dream
death will come to everyone except me.
Dr Berlin has been writing a poem about his experience of being a doctor every month for the past 24 years in Psychiatric Times™ in a column called “Poetry of the Times.” He is instructor in psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts. His latest book is Freud on My Couch. ❒