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Pectoriloquy |

Poem against Insomnia FREE TO VIEW

Lawrence Francis O'Brien
Author and Funding Information

Correspondence to: Lawrence Francis O'Brien; e-mail: harriedlarry@comcast.net


Editor's Note: Lawrence O'Brien teaches English at Western New England College and edits their poetry journal. He writes: “I've suffered from insomnia for many years. This poem is a fantasy of finally being able to sleep!”

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(5):1442. doi:10.1378/chest.09-0462
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Published online

I want to fall asleep
in a vast, white room,
as spare and sterile
as a hospital, tucked
between starched, cool
sheets, on a fading,
October afternoon.
My bed will lie next
to an enormous window,
overlooking an immense
lake, radiant with sails
and sunset. Silence
will prevail, except
for the fluorescent hum
of the ceiling light
and the comforting
drone of a small plane,
aloft in the clouds.
My pajamas will feel
soft and freshly
ironed, with one sleeve
rolled up to receive
the intravenous drip
of numbing, sodium
pentothal. A nurse
will approach, scented
with lavender perfume,
to give me an alcohol rub,
before I set my pillows
for the shores of oblivion.
Yes, she will say, you
will sleep deeply now,
and when you awake,
I will serve you a bowl
of light broth as clear
and warm as morning.


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