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Poetry and Medicine
January 2, 2008

Exit Strategies

JAMA. 2008;299(1):14. doi:10.1001/jama.2007.27-a

After Edward Lear

You might be bit by a rattler hid in your boot
or choke while you're drinking green tea;
could be killed by the kick of a madwoman's foot
or be drowned in the syllabub sea.
You could murder yourself in New York with a fork
or melt in a crater of lava;
You could die by too frequently popping the cork
of your favorite brand of Marsala.
You could be gored by a virulent bull
Or be bored by a brute of a bee.
Your skull could crack like a china doll’s
when you fall from a three-story tree.
You might be split in two halves by a horse
or you could go more peacefully, of course.