Pectoriloquy |


Aden Ross, PhD
Author and Funding Information

Editor’s Note: The author is a widely published poet and playwright. “Grace” was written in response to a doctor the author met when his father was dying. He wrote “Frank’s Wife, Knitting” while observing patients’ families as a medical writing consultant in Georgia.

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(6):1485. doi:10.1378/chest.09-1976
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Grace was my father’s last doctor,
who walked like the front half of a pony costume
or a chubby spy, always looking behind her.
She braided her flyaway hair into a bun so tight
it slanted her eyelids nearly shut.
Too earnest to improvise chit-chat,
she set out to memorize every joke in one
year of the big-print Reader’s Digest,
which freed her to laugh with her dying cancer patients,
then pat them with the chapped hands of a shy child.




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