Pectoriloquy |


Robin Pelzman
Author and Funding Information

Correspondence to: Robin Pelzman; e-mail: robinpelzman@mindspring.com

Editor's Note: The poet has been numerously published. She writes: “After my first encounter with bronchial inflammation, I had tremendous empathy for those who live with conditions and diseases that constrain breathing, and a sense of the frustrations and even terrors that they confront daily. When one hospitalization threatened to interrupt my relative's careful attention to his portfolio, I imagined how he might respond.”

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.09-0480
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Published online

His lungs become soft pink flowers
that can't drink anymore. Breathing
is an underwater expedition, sleep, the wife
he's never really known. Against the blank
page of his hospital bed, he lies reading Investor's
Daily, columns of stocks and bonds marching
like the ants in a childhood nightmare, the one
where you run but can't escape. He coughs
the terrible cough when asked, monitors the IV's
hesitance, each drop entering his arm like a supplicant—
still, he is restless, frustrated. He misses
issuing orders, the phone pressed tight against
his one good ear, dictating the movements
of all his shares, from one fund to another,
out of harm's way.




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