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In the Hospital 

David Lehman

In the hospital there was time
to read to dream to act
to read Freud’s dream book on his couch
and how his best thoughts came to him
in the hospital during
World War I for example when
he invented a new way of opening
a vein while sitting in front of
a typewriter the wound
survived him but in the hospital
he knew only the words glory
and honor and country
rhymed with story
and malheur and the country
matters Hamlet lauded
in Ophelia’s lap when mad
or pretending to be mad
and Denmark wasn’t a prison
or brothel it was a hospital