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Pectoriloquy |

The Decision FREE TO VIEW

Jeanette Michele Cavano, PharmD
Author and Funding Information

Editor’s Note: Dr Cavano is a psychiatric and geriatric pharmacist. She writes, “My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 42 and died at 47 when I was 18. My focus was to describe the first and only time I ever saw my father cry.”

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.

Editor’s note for authors of submissions to Pectoriloquy: Poems should not exceed 350 words, should not have been previously published, and should be related to concerns of physicians and medicine. First submissions to the Pectoriloquy Section should be submitted via e-mail to poetrychest@aol.com. Authors of accepted poems will be asked to submit the final version to CHEST Manuscript Central.

Michael Zack, MD, FCCP


Chest. 2012;142(1):261. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2450
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Published online

Beneath the jaundiced gaze
of the moth-covered porch light,
my father tells me
mother has made a
“unilateral decision”
to stop all
extraordinary medical treatment.
Why does he use
these cold, military terms?
His face twists and cracks
releasing meager tears
like water wrung
from parched rocks.


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