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Pectoriloquy |

Four Haiku FREE TO VIEW

Libby Swope Wiersema
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Editor’s Note: The author writes, “I am a consumer health-care journalist earning an MFA in poetry from Queens University in Charlotte, NC. These haiku represent scenes from my mother’s struggle with lung cancer.”

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. 2013;144(5):1730. doi:10.1378/chest.13-0589
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End-stage
My body curls over her
close to the rattler,
her breath a snake uncoiling.
Sustenance
We pretend we don’t hear her:
No food. No water.
She wants to return to dust.
Chores
You wash, I dry, miss a beat –
you pause to tell me:
I want to be cremated.
Appraisal
Our heads touch at the temples,
bowed over tissue,
mouths whispering: Is it blood?


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