Pectoriloquy |


Michael Verive, MD
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Editor's Note: The poet is a pediatric intensive care physician who states: “I use magic, music, and other arts to help hospitalized children and their families. I wrote this poem to describe how caring for critically ill and injured children has molded the perspective I have with my own children.”

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.09-1576
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There are footprints on my dashboard, and fingerprints smeared on my windows. No matter how many times I tell her to stop, my 3 year old can't seem to avoid making a mess of my car. In fact, she seems to take great pleasure in making as much of a mess as she can. She doesn't do this in my wife's minivan. Oh, no - she has to save it for my sporty little convertible.
Today I was haunted again by images in the emergency room. Two children, shot “execution-style” by their father, a Chicago police officer, who later took his own life. Both children were wheeled in, and immediately the resident and I went to work with the ER and trauma teams. The girl was beyond resuscitation, but her older brother lasted a week until his brain cried “ENOUGH!”.
There are footprints on my dashboard, and fingerprints smeared on my windows. I think I'll leave them there for a while. It's time to kiss my little angels goodnight.




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