Pectoriloquy |

Two Possibilities FREE TO VIEW

Lois Marie Harrod, MA
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Editor’s Note:Lois Harrod teaches Creative Writing at The College of New Jersey. “My husband has had irregular episodes of aphasia and paralysis lasting 5-30 minutes since he was 14. Despite many tests and hospital stays, the cause has never been diagnosed. I wrote this poem after the most recent episode.”

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Chest. 2015;147(2):582. doi:10.1378/chest.14-1920
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“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not.
Both are equally terrifying.” Arthur C. Clarke.
After they scraped the bed across the floor
to get at you, after they rolled you onto the stretcher,
after they carried you out, after I changed
out of my pajamas and found my shoes
and my wallet and my keys, after looking for your glasses
which I had taken from you when you fell
and could not move, after panicking, I walked
out into the quiet street to the car.
The block seemed strangely still, a concert hall
to which the audience had forgotten to come.
Getting in the car to follow you to the hospital,
I felt solitary, no one to see my performance,
I rehearsing myself, you must be careful,
you are driving under stress. I don’t remember
one stop light those numb miles—
but I do recall thinking to myself how odd
that no one noticed, no one came out of a house,
no one offered to drive me to the emergency room,
though the next day, when one by one I saw
neighbors on the street, when one by one
they asked what had happened, I knew
they had been at their windows watching.




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