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For flowers are no longer allowed
  1. Jennifer Alice Strawson
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jennifer Alice Strawson, Department of Palliative Care, Woking Hospice, Hill View Road, Woking, Surrey GU22 7HW, UK; jennystrawson{at}

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Nothing was ever good enough, the patients kept dying,

though the drugs were getting better all the time,

and more expensive.

We blamed ourselves while exotic named potions

dripped through hopeful arms,

meanwhile the oceans were drained of normal saline.

“Your chances of death are small, say 0.9 percent,”

I told Bed 5, but it wasn't good enough,

she was alive then dead the next day, only the flowers

by her bedside knew why. They kept dying,

the …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.