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Pectoriloquy |

On the Easter Sunday FREE TO VIEW

Dorie LaRue, PhD
Author and Funding Information

Correspondence to: Dorie LaRue, PhD, Louisiana State University, English Department, 1 University Place, Shreveport, LA 71104; e-mail: dlarue@lsus.edu


Editor's Note: Dorie LaRue teaches writing courses at Louisiana State University in Shreveport and has a PhD in American Literature and Creative Writing. She writes: “ ‘On the Easter Sunday’ was inspired by one trip of many to the emergency room when I was taking care of my mother in her last days. I was struck by the limit which words and love can have.”

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).


© 2009 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2009;136(4):1180. doi:10.1378/chest.09-0789
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Published online

On the Easter Sunday before the death
the sky fell in gray ambiguous sheets.
I remember the ambulance people
with a servile politeness
lifting her onto the gurney
and hauling her out into the rain
where the cold brimming made it seem
kinder to die back inside,
beside the empty IVs and Houdini nurse,
and without the higher tech
to which we pathetically genuflect.
My mom lapsed into a state,
her face glazed by the street lamps
and through the windshield the road
to the hospital rose up,
a glass mountain path,
enchanted into a long mezzanine
lined with ghosts
lifting their radiant white arms.
They struck me as Plato's Forms
pefectly mimicking pear trees,
momentary portrayals of the gorgeous—
the gorgeous superreal peartreeness of things.
And my despair became aspatial,
just a blueprint for something
so deep and connected and consistent
it could only be the depth
of flawless knowledge, or faith, or love,
impeccable and dependent on nothing.
Pear trees, Ma! I said. Pear trees!
Pear trees, she said from her ant hill of pain, pear trees.
Then: I want to drop dead now, she said.
I want to drop dead now,
she said, please.


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