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Pectoriloquy |

Crying in Front of a Patient FREE TO VIEW

Ron Riekki, PhD
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Editor’s Note:The poet has authored two books.

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


Chest. 2014;146(4):1131. doi:10.1378/chest.14-0361
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Published online

                  for Kate Gale
To my first patient where
I wept, not profusely,
not a Good-Lord-of-tears
where the floor is mopped
with me, but rather
the controlled sobs
of a man who talks
about the weather
to see if there’s an airway
and there is, now,
another patient,
another day,
another shift,
with this future
married so long
to the past
that they no longer
sleep in the same bed,
instead
from the other room
before the lights go out,
shouting,
“I love you”
and then
“Did you hear me?”
But they’re sound
asleep.


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