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OK, but can I see myself
saying take me, not him,
willing to be a chivalrous
self-forfeiting victim?

I confess that there’s a question mark
over how, were fate to ask
me to manifest such pluck,
I’d contemplate the task –

eternity sounds very long
and death looks very dull
so I reckon I’d be more inclined
at least to pause and mull

before I volunteered to be
shut down abruptly for
the sake of A. N. Other who
might live a few years more

but wasn’t even kith or kin
and would probably forget
the fool who chose to demonstrate
such end-use etiquette.

Yet if in some mysterious way
it really is the case
those who desire to save their life
(and not risk losing face)

in such a situation should
jump at the chance to die,
then I’d observe we all deserve
an explanation why.