Pectoriloquy |

Thoughts While Waiting In the Emergency Room FREE TO VIEW

Anne K. Spollen, MA
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Editor’s Note:The author writes, “I am the mother of three children and I have published two novels, The Shape of Water and Light Beneath Ferns. In addition, I have published many poems, essays, and short stories. I am an English professor for Ocean County College where I teach part time. Currently, I am living in Staten Island, New York, and working on a new novel.”

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Chest. 2014;146(1):235. doi:10.1378/chest.13-2044
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Inside the hush of this humid night,
I feel your thoughts landing on me:
feathers moving with the weight
of bones.
That is your way. The constant pulling
then pushing of you,
you whom I birthed
in the middle of a windy storm. I remember
to the pelting of ice
against the blackened hospital windows
the soft water droplets mingling
with the shards of ice
the way the ice splintered
against the solid window as you moved
down my shifting bones
and into this world
Was it in you then? Planted in
that wet storm with the wild spatter
of stars,
was something born within you
that makes you want to move
outside of your own bones
The way you hide by swallowing tablets,
or inside the smoke of your room
the blue waves you ride
Once, we rode blue waves together
underwater like that
when you lived inside me:
dove down to feel weightless, to feel the arc
of gravity break for a moment
that first summer I found out I was having you
eighteen years ago
I rode blue waves with you, spoke to you
said your name
I sit in the cupped chair
of this hospital
hoping they can wake you,
the way I once woke you to this world
You who won’t let me in
not into your thoughts and now
banned from the room
the nurse says you are of age
and it’s my choice to wait for you
Always my choice, sweet son,
always waiting for the rage
you hold toward me to abate
the way I waited for the storm
to abate the night you were born
your words,
tangible as ice, splintering
against my skin
The way you take love
and transform it
into rupture.




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