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Poetry and Medicine
April 28, 2010

My Daughter’s Will

Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor. Poems may be submitted to

JAMA. 2010;303(16):1576. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.306

She asked me to read it,
like a curbside consult.
She wanted my advice.
I did it right—a pint
of strong ale, a dark bar,
hard rock music pulsing.
I stayed on task—doctor
to doctor—scribbled notes,
made my own suggestions.
I read it like a patient's chart.
But neither beer nor legalese
could blunt the blow of “predecease.”

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