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Article
July 24, 1996

Be Properly Scared

JAMA. 1996;276(4):334. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540040078039

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Abstract

Be Properly Scared comprises poems on illness, some of which have appeared previously in JAMA ("A Lesser Chaos," "Breathing," "Putting Me Out," "Something From My Life"). The following lines begin the poem "Check up":

It's a nightmare for a woman like me, alone and on the bridge of middle age—to be told by a good man that there is nothing inside you, and in the same breath, nothing is wrong with you either, and the man saying this thinks he can prove it: the x-rays of my chest glaring from the white lit window...

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