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Syndic Literary Journal

I Will Not Die Choking On A Peanut

By Rhode Island Writer  Betsy Miller


I will not die getting hit

by a truck coming out

of the fresh produce market

heading for us as we picket

boycotting lettuce


I will not die eating donuts and candy

diabetes is harsh but it won’t get me

better diet lose weight exercise

with high blood sugar this advice is wise

but no fun at all


I will not die peddling my new bike

my dad lets go down the hill I ride

faster and faster no way to stop

squeezing the brakes I finally go plop

with no training wheels


I will not die in the land

of federales with guns in hand

stopping four hippies in a VW bug

searching for marijuana or some other drug

which they did not find


I will not die skiing in Yosemite

my friends know how went off and left me

took classes and practiced on bunny slope

bored decided to try something steeper with hope

of not hitting tree


I will not die from a raging fever

on chemo low immunity fear

must get to doctor immediately

help’s here thank goodness for Willy

sinus infection


I will not die in the desert

road blocked by a car across it

men flagging us down we keep going

into soft sand off the road blowing

close call in Baja


I will not die in the sky

when the plane can’t fly

pilot says there’s a problem

burning fuel too quickly to bottom

back to land safely


I will not die in a head on crash

with a tractor trailer as we pass

on the narrow two lane highway

on our way to Puerto San Jose

in Guatemala


I will not die jumping over

the wide chasm between boulders

watching others do it easily

confidence needed stop feeling queasy

deceptive distance


I will not die on a chicken bus

the driver is crazy doesn’t care about us

winding up and down mountains only blind curves ahead

way too fast others pray I scream at driver instead

he just laughs at me


I will not die on the operating table

under anesthesia I’m really not able

to have any control over my life

watch from above as they ready the knife

soul out of body


I will not die being stung by a three inch long bee

“te puede matar!” they screamed ran off and left me

resting on screen in my office took papers to swat

hotel on beach in place where people ought not

have cut down jungle


I will not die rolling over the ridge

going way too close to the unseen edge

on narrow dirt road over mountain top

in the black of night in a dense fog

shut up stop screaming


I will not die in a hurricane

strong winds blowing power out heavy rain

alone in oceanview condo perched high on a hill landslide boulder crashed inches from car but still

island will rebuild


I will not die falling out of a tree

followed my brother up way too high for me

clinging tightly to limb looking down I froze

sirens bring crowd down fire truck ladder I go

very embarrassed


I will not die getting stuck in the mud

remote road to Grand Canyon we go thud

wheels spin no traction noone to be seen

digging out by hand little hope we can glean

truck on horizon


I will not die going up steep canyon wall

on sure footed horse who will not fall

horse has done this before a thousand times

no matter how narrow the path we will be fine

got to love that horse


I will not die of cancer

not the one that was almost faster

than the doctors and their treatments

took my left breast but we beat it

with new drug taxol


I will not die of cancer

operation and chemo the answer

twenty years later they tell me no problem

excellent team at hospital I got them

taxol now standard


I will not die in a Mexican jail

running Puerto Morelos hotel we nearly fail

to conceal the drugs to be smoked and swallowed

when in bursts our cook by police being followed

looking for a thief


I will not die when the volcano explodes

ash covered my land lava cut off the road

but I was not there to experience the pain

I’ve seen smaller eruptions no need to explain

the power of it


I will not die in an historic blizzard

three feet of snow at last help’s coming it’s heard

after a week being trapped snowed in inside

National Guard plows buried cars and snow aside



I will not die of high blood pressure or cholesterol

as we get older these conditions seem to happen to all

we take more and more pills make the drug companies rich

meanwhile all we can do is carry on and wish

for a longer life


I will not die at the hands of strangers

riding horse to village no idea what the range is

to Mexican goat barbecue accepted an invitation

only on way later wondered if any evil intention

nice people good food


I will not die hitting a large antlered moose

in the deep woods of Maine on empty road loose

magnificent animal so huge he’s amazing

like hitting a wall it would be rather dazing

beautiful creature


I will not die in a Guatemalan earthquake

asleep in Antigua I wake up with the shake

heart pounding phone ringing turn on the tv

the street I am on fallen wall boulders I see

now that was scary


I will not die of this novel virus

ravaging the world seems like its got us

too many have died the rest have all suffered

will we ever be free we have all wondered

vaccine only hope


I will not die choking

on a peanut M&M as I’m talking

tossing one in it got stuck in my throat

Heimlich done by his niece Penny Pekow

life wins yet again


Elisabeth A. Miller

February 2, 2021








Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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