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For the group Literary Reference in Pictures




A definition, friends, of stress:

Your own reaction to a mess

Stresses may be large or small

Sometimes they're not perceived at all

Examples: Say a lack of cash;

A just-avoided freeway crash;

An allergen that's in the air;

The barber says you're losing hair;

Fifty on a spavined horse;

Attorney's letter re divorce;

Wetness, dryness, heat or cold;

Callow youth or getting old

Stress from pains to pleasures range

The common element is change

Adapt or die, and that's a fact

And so our bodies must react:

The heart speeds up, the gut slows down

Facial muscles snarl or frown

Bronchial tubes expand and then

The blood absorbs more oxygen

Widened pupils search the void

Adrenal glands secrete steroid

Serum glucose starts to climb

More insulin works overtime

Stressed physically or mentally

Muscles tense to fight or flee

The midbrain boils with rage and fear

While cortex plans to save your rear

The point is, stress is not unique

It doesn't mean you're dumb or weak

A part of mankind's constitution

Bequeathed to us by evolution

Common both to man and beast

It proves you're still alive, at least.


By William Goldsmith, MD


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Taken on January 23, 2006