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Epitaph for a Generalist

Details escaped her, had no need,

And she at best saw mostly what she must.

She couldn’t tell oxytocin from oxycontin.

What’s in a name? Which compound went into what bin?

Which the neuropeptide, which a heinous sin?

Or Cosmos bipinnatus from the common ragweed;

They look so much the same—

But one’s a pretty flower, the other makes you sneeze.

One fears she never knew how best to please:

Allergy sufferers seemed to her no different from the just!

Thrust willy-nilly into complexity’s great mold,

She was a being with a big picture brain.

Experts in the end do only what they’re told;

She guessed at the secret rules of the greater game.

May 14, 2024


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