Pectoriloquy |

When You Talk About Making Dinner For Friends FREE TO VIEW

Lyn Lifshin, MA, English
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Editor’s Note: Ms Lifshin writes, “The poem was written during the winter when my boyfriend was on a waiting list for minimally invasive mitral valve repair. It was difficult waiting, hoping for a cancellation. The anxiety, the attempt to be strong when I didn’t feel strong, the memory of other losses was intense–not an easy time. I feel this poem reflects the unsaid terrifying fears when what is said is less strong than what isn’t. Fortunately, it ended successfully!” She has written more than 120 books and edited four anthologies.

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

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

Chest. 2012;142(6):1686. doi:10.1378/chest.12-0118
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when you retire in five
years I say nothing. I’m
thinking only to the
first snow, to a white
blanketing us together.
When my mother talked
of her next spring, I
thought only of a summer,
a few weeks of lilacs,
roses. “We’ll visit Virginia,
DC once a year, ” you
say and I’m trying to
remember mantras of
hearts and valve repairs.
You see yourself in a
kitchen with copper pots
and ladles, definitely
not a white tile floor that
shows every stain while
I try not to stare at
the floor as if when I dug in
I’d uncover cracked skulls,
bones your words still
cling to, heart tissue, all
I’m afraid to lose




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