Pectoriloquy |


Ed Meek
Author and Funding Information

Editor's Note: The author writes: “I had a winter cough I couldn't seem to shake so I did a little research. Sometimes medical, technical and scientific language is surprisingly poetic.”

Michael Zack, MD, FCCP

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).

© 2010 American College of Chest Physicians

Chest. 2010;137(2):492. doi:10.1378/chest.09-1572
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It isn’t wise to try to suppress a cough—
the forceful, even violent aspirating effort—
a bronchial hacking reflex to extirpate
the sputum of frothy mucus. Sure,
the cough is an unwelcome neighbor
who has moved into the house,
insinuated himself ingratiatingly
into the daily routine—interrupting
every conversation with his incessant
complaint until you want to cry,
Stop, Stop, Please–knowing it's useless.
He won't listen to reason. Anyway he can't
control himself—it's his nature to take over
and demand an audience—he's an honorary member
of the bar who'd shout down Clarence Darrow.
This explains his rude behavior.
He is the child who can't be seen
but will be heard.




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