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.09-1977
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When the doctor told Frank the cancer
hooked cell to cell, a twisted cable stitch
filling his chest, Frank’s wife held
her knitting to the light. Frank watched.
When the doctor lifted out Frank’s lung
and buried it, Frank waited for his wife’s hands,
coughed tears redder than the sweater
she knit, still, intent.
When the doctor washed his hands and wept
the last of Frank’s piecemeal funerals,
the wife, case-hardened as fate,
cast off, knotted and snipped.




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