Pectoriloquy |

Diagnosis FREE TO VIEW

Lori Rottenberg, MA
Author and Funding Information

Editor’s Note: Lori Rottenberg is a writer who lives in Arlington, VA.

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;138(2):454. doi:10.1378/chest.09-2327
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You welcome illness like an old friend.
You run to her, expectant and impatient to catch up
on shared knowledge: At last, new help in explaining
the problems of your years.
Now you are armed and protected:
You have the final word for every argument,
the answer to all questions, an impenetrable shield
to guard habits others would take from you.
Now you have a loophole in your job’s tight net,
an escape hatch that leads to home,
a newly named fascination
that gives outline to a confusing world.
Now you have a topic for all conversation,
a thesis to spark your curiosity, purpose to fill the empty calendar,
carte blanche for acquiring all your heart commands,
a reason we should love you more.
Other mothers collect spoons or Lladro;
you collect diseases like baseball cards,
and we finger them lightly and listen mutely
as you recount your latest passion for self-immolation.




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