Pectoriloquy |


Suzanne Roberts, PhD
Author and Funding Information

Editor’s Note: Suzanne Roberts is the author of three collections of poetry and currently teaches English at Lake Tahoe Community College in California. She writes, “I hope, in the poem, I came to the conclusion that bodies are bodies, and whether they are scarred or not, each is beautiful in its own way. Many of my poems have been written in the waiting room at a doctor's office-it is the place where we must, at some level, confront our own mortality, so it is the ideal place for poetry. So, when I have to wait, I'm glad-it is in this space that the poems freely come.”

Editor’s note for authors of submissions to Pectoriloquy: Poems should not exceed 350 words, should not have been previously published, and should be related to concerns of physicians and medicine. First submissions to the Pectoriloquy Section should be submitted via e-mail to poetrychest@aol.com. Authors of accepted poems will be asked to submit the final version to CHEST Manuscript Central.

Michael Zack, MD, FCCP

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

© 2010 American College of Chest Physicians

Chest. 2010;137(4):1000. doi:10.1378/chest.09-1793
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Never before, have you noticed this carefully
the breasts—the round melons on the girl
in admitting, the plump balloons
on the receptionist of radiology.
Those of the white-haired woman
in the waiting room, who is perusing topographic
hiking maps—the tanned legs could belong
to a 30-year old, but the breasts—smallish
triangles, crepe-like folds under the t-shirt.
The man across who is reading National
Geographic—his are squarish man boobs,
and I wonder if he is having them
squished between the glass plates, too.
Try to imagine them all without— you can’t.
Then, imagine your own chest, a clean slate,
the canvas stretched tight across the chest,
the skeleton visible through the half-moon scars—
You tell yourself, you’ll still be able to ski, rock climb,
bike, write, and swim. Make love. In the dark.
A desert with no sandy hummocks, no rise
and fall, cradling shadow. Instead, imagine a meadow,
or a lake at dawn, reflecting the star-sequined sky.




Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Find Similar Articles
  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543