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Poetry and Medicine
May 12, 2015

Serial Sevens

Author Affiliations
  • 1Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania
JAMA. 2015;313(18):1867. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.250

They tell me to count backwards
from 100 I pretend I’m on a rocket ship
at 93 I check all the dials and all the valves
because I know how to fix things that’s what I do
I’m an engineer and 86 no one knows better than me
how to mess around with the circuit breakers
no one knows better than me 79 I am the family
fix-it man and 72 if my daughter were on this rocket ship
right now I know she would 65 she’d ask me
to tell her where all the wires run and how to use a voltammeter
because 58 my daughter is into all these science fairs
and that’s the one thing we have in common we are both
science-minded people and 51 my wife always shakes her head at us
says the two of us 44 are talking in a language
only the two of us can understand but 37 I’m real proud
of my daughter 30 for working hard as she does
and 23 I bet she’s proud of me right now too
for working hard as I am 16 all this number counting
I hope that 9 she grows up to be just like me and 2
and 0 and blastoff…

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