Pectoriloquy |

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Jenna Kay Rindo, BSN, MS
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Correspondence to: Jenna Kay Rindo, BSN, MS; e-mail: jennah_54901@yahoo.com

Editor's Note: Jenna Rindo graduated with a BSN from the Medical College of Virginia. While working as a nurses' assistant at MCV hospital on a neuro floor, she experienced giving chest compressions for the first time.

Michael Zack, MD, FCCP

Editor's note for authors of submissions to Pectoriloguy: Poems should not exceed 350 words, should not have been previously published, and should relate to concerns of physicians, patients, or medicine. First submission to the Pectoriloguy Section should be submitted via e-mail to poetrychest@aol.com. Authorsof accepted poems will be asked to submit the final version to CHEST Scholar One Manuscripts.

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(6):1698. doi:10.1378/chest.09-0582
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Try to transform from awkward
student nurse to a cross
between angel and nightingale.
Beat pale fibrous wings
over tree tall octogenarian.
His ashy limbs are wasted.
Ink blots of ulcers
fester a yellow pus.
Forget everything you don't know
and might never learn.
Mount the mechanical bed.
Disregard the white uniform
waving its distress signal.
Hike that mandated hem
over your knees to
straddle his chest.
Center your hundred pounds
of flesh, lace two hands
to one fist, lock elbows
and ask forgiveness
for linking pending death
with your own vague failures.
Listen, while his brittle bones crack
against the thrust of compressions.
Appreciate the sound
you will never forget.
Honeycomb bones splinter
to feathers, urging
a version of flight.
A resident calls time of death.
Three seasoned nurses mumble,
“he should have been a D.N.R.”




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