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Books, Journals, New Media
May 1, 2002

PoetrySupernumerary Poem with Fruit Pastries that Allegorically Addresses Death

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 2002;287(17):2289. doi:10.1001/jama.287.17.2289-JBK0501-1A-1

When I was ill with mononucleosis,
Two moon-faced children came to me and said,
"We once were triplets." Feverish, I stared
At their identical pink quadriceps,
Suspicious of the slow pentameter
In which they spoke. A sextant showed the way
To where their sister rest in peace: SEPTEMBER
8th, date of death (not birth), was chiseled on
Her grey nonagonal tombstone. I cried,
For all the decades I had lived in fear;
The twins, who looked to be eleven years
Of age or so, refused the dozen pastries none
Had offered. "Triskaidekaphobia!"
They shrieked. "1492!" was my reply,
Unsure the etymology of quince
Was one less than my Spanish sonnet's lines.
—Raphael Campo

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