Pectoriloquy |


Elaine Greensmith Jordan, MA, MDiv
Author and Funding Information

Editor’s Note:The author writes, “A lung specialist decided I needed a CT scan because I was having minor chest pain. The CT scan did not go well, as the poem describes. After its writing, I was sufficiently calmed not to call in the troops for retribution. I recommend creative writing to deal with trauma!”

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. 2014;146(1):236. doi:10.1378/chest.13-2330
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Published online

I lie on the pad
Feet extended into a metal tube
A sprout with troubled lungs.
The middle-aged tech
Nametag Bobbie
Says Lie Still
And injects the dye
Missing the vein.
My arm inflates
An instant painful bulb.
I cry out.
Bobbie says Wait a Minute
But my arm mushrooms
Until my cries bring a doctor
Who removes the needle
Places warm towels
Deflates the growth
Mutters excuses.
Bobbie apologizes
Looks wilted
My anger expands
To blossoms of scorn
For technicians and doctors
But I keep silent
As dirt.
I’m laid out again
Thinking of death and worms
Afraid of rooted tumors
While Bobbies scurry
Like busy gardeners.
More needles.
More dye.
I feel set upon by crows.
I rise from the table
Gather my courage
Like a bouquet I dropped
And leave the landscapers
To dig in the soil
Of other lungs.




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