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Poetry and Medicine
January 27, 2015

Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Author Affiliations
  • 1Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
JAMA. 2015;313(4):425. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.8628
The crowd sees the ball curve down and almostaway from the blur of bat. At the point of contact,the pitcher, following through, sees a home run arc upover the stands: Again, Lou writes his signature on airwith sound and blur and the stadium’s outcry. For 2000 games, he’s the Iron Man—till a synapse
storm stops the drive to make the synapseobsolete, to speed up thought and action almost tothe edge of godhead. The news hurts the nation’s ears—like a cryagainst goodness. Misfortune, too dumb to know its own name, makes contactwith a generation for which Lou’s bat, cutting the airin two, knocked back a world war struggling to rise up.