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July 24, 1996

Be Properly Scared

Author Affiliations

by M. Wyrebek, 56 pp, paper, $11.95, ISBN 1-884800-08-4, Four Ways Books, POB 607, Marshfield, Mass, 02050 (or order c/o The Grolier Book Shop, 1-800-234-POEM); 1996.

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

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


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...