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Pectoriloquy |

Elder Song FREE TO VIEW

Jane Marston, PhD
Author and Funding Information

Editor’s Note: The poet writes, “I became interested in how literature can clarify the anxiety patients feel in medical settings (for me personally, anxiety is compounded by the fear of not being listened to).” She teaches literature and composition at the University of Georgia.

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


Chest. 2012;142(4):1068. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2854
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I bore true blood in battle
though my breath came quick
and poorly; kept silent
while a needle’s sting
attacked my marrow
sorely. Suffered anonymity,
waiting for reports; then swore
upon my fainting heart
to take my name again:
to carry true blood singing,
secret and alone,
and release the captive
language tuning in the bone.


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