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This poem is taken from PN Review 62, Volume 14 Number 6, July - August 1988.

Medical Poems Phillip Whitfield

In Practice

Suppose I have to prescribe
a formula, such as
happiness being the extent
to which one loses the sense
of being alone.

Or that affection,
the nearest word I dare to use,
might be a remedy
to heal so much.

As one
who spends his days and nights
listening to old complaints,
feeling for tenderness,
awake to the usual events
of birth and death,
I'm on my own.

Second Generation

I cannot remember
...


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