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Poetry and Medicine
September 21, 2011

After The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker

Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor. Poems may be submitted to jamapoems@jama-archives.org.

Author Affiliation: Edmonds, Washington (jlwrig@comcast.net).

JAMA. 2011;306(11):1176. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1178

Early morning, pitch black,
the lighted lamps reflected in the window.
A moth, outside, aroused from slumber flutters
bumping against the glass.
Is it seeking light, or is it warmth I ask?
In less than a minute and a dozen hits
it learns this to be a futile task and dread free
flutters away,
while man, with his soul-fueled head,
keeps bumping double-pane,
loneliness and meaning, until he's dead.

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