Pectoriloquy |

The Heart Is a Don FREE TO VIEW

Sunny Solomon
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Editor’s Note: The author writes: “The impetus for the poem was a heart “incident” which occurred after acute pericarditis. The reality of how little control one has in one’s life was immense. I didn’t see my whole life flash before me, but the Godfather image was very real. I am a native Californian and retired bookseller who now lives in Nevada.”

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).

© 2011 American College of Chest Physicians

Chest. 2011;140(4):1095. doi:10.1378/chest.10-2277
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Respect the heart.
It can bring you to your knees,
like a Mafioso Don,
make you recall prayers,
get you to say them in Latin.
This is serious.
You cannot count fast enough
to keep up with its pace,
instead you number your teeth
in gum-throbbing cadence.
It’s like the carney ride;
your body against a spinning wall,
you want to get sick
when the floor falls away.
You drop the Latin.
Concentrate hard,
harder than when you wished
your marriage hadn’t failed or
that you would have said yes
to that cowboy in your freshman year.
It’s nothing like telling your kid
to get his hands off the furniture.
You understand the Don is not
taking promises and he can
put his hands wherever he wants.
This is a new set of rules.
When the weight is lifted,
you gasp at the heat pressed down.
You are bug-eyed, incredulous.
You hear voices coach you
into your next breath.
You are a good girl,
follow every instruction
and pretty soon it’s just
as they said, there is air
and lots of it and
aren’t you lucky.
It is serious business.
Payback has begun.




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