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Pectoriloquy |

Hollywood’s Miracle Mile FREE TO VIEW

Gerard Sarnat, MD
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Editor’s Note:The author writes, “I wrote Hollywood's ‘Miracle Mile’ after experiencing a severe episode of cervical pain in a condo overlooking Redondo Beach. During the episode my family celebrated my wife's birthday on the beach below.” Gerard Sarnat, MD, received his undergraduate degree at Harvard where he was the editor of the freshman literary magazine The Yardling, his medical degree at Stanford, and did his internal medicine training at Boston's Beth Israel Hospital and Stanford Medical Center. He established and staffed clinics for the disenfranchised, has been a CEO of healthcare organizations, and has been a Stanford professor.

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 topoetrychest@aol.com. Authors of accepted poems will be asked to submit the final version to CHEST Manuscript Central.

—Michael Zack, MD, FCCP


Copyright 2016, American College of Chest Physicians. All Rights Reserved.


Chest. 2016;149(2):599. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2015.10.057
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    Percodanized with a double-dose Ativan kicker,
    the big shot’s head balloons into a watermelon
    dense as a Grauman Chinese sidewalk star
    or Wilshire Boulevard manhole cover.

    Throw velvet lines
    to a drowning plastic vs. reconstructive surgeon
    who is already on a tightrope, neck in a vice
    -- would have hung himself if only he could.

    No one can lift the cervical collar from its bed.
    Superhero, hang in there
    Viable by a thread, when mistresses aren’t looking,
    imagining

    a human slinky,
    his six-pack abs and hair transplant backbend
    then flop from king-sized mattress onto the red carpet.
    Determined not to slip that very last micro-millimeter

    of spinal canal
    which would pith our celebrity to death, pretzel
    won’t untwist, losing consciousness, he hears the Dad
    he never met urge from the grave,

    Son don’t you give up
    While the departed’s being processed then possibly
    accepted into one or another tier of heaven, God
    required a quiet tearful poem about the fragility of life…

    I observed my wife’s Medicare birthday from above.
    Our kids and their's played on the white sand, picnicked.
    First year unable to be there because of damned pain
    that kept me upstairs in traction,

    I took pride in how
    the family carried on. Sons fondly helped their matriarch
    up the steps. One daughter-in-law packed the beach gear,
    the other clutched a baby. Back in the condominium,

    unconsoled grandchildren
    asked if if if Grampa saw their waves from the sea
    when they saw me perched at the picture window
    in a tarnished chair wearing my new cervical halo.


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