Pectoriloquy |

X-ray Waiting Room FREE TO VIEW

Joanna White, DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts)
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Editor’s Note:The author writes, “Childhood medical experiences make it difficult for me to be in medical settings today, but I discovered recently that writing about it helps.” Joanna White is Professor of Flute at Central Michigan University.

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

Chest. 2015;147(1):278. doi:10.1378/chest.14-1811
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I read Real Simple, a flappy shield to screen
sick sea of peering eyes. I follow round
cracked cobblestones that curve and wend by pond,
through a tendriled trellis arching over a bench
past dangling yellow roses where I spy
the lady of the garden squatting down
in grubby jeans and clogs with floppy hat,
no job to do but taming wilding weeds.
No people take her clothes and make her lie,
no x-ray beams undress her through a gown.
In open air she smiles. I turn the page
and see her friends, they come one day to help
but this is not a party, it is clear.
They come so she can show them how to pull
the choking weeds for she must leave to fight
a different growth, the one that lies within.
I slap the pages shut and sling it down.
I close my eyes, then open them to see
a painting on the wall, a bobbing boat,
pink shimmer on the water sparking waves,
tinged mauves and golds on clouds, a softened spray
like blossoms in a garden by Monet.
So here’s my chance, it’s all I need to do,
to mount the boat, unfurl the sails, untie
the rope that tethers sailboat to the dock,
push off, slip round the bend and out to sea.




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