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Pectoriloquy |

The Ambulance FREE TO VIEW

Helen Reiss
Author and Funding Information

Editor’s Note:The author writes, “I am a retired Registered Nurse and was looking for something meaningful to do that could make use of my experience. I am now an EMT with my local volunteer fire department. This poem reflects, I hope, not only the excitement of riding in an ambulance, but the intimate relationship with the patient. ‘There but for fortune…’”

Greenport, NY


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


Chest. 2016;150(6):1404. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2016.07.024
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Published online

    The lights are flashing
    but it isn't Christmas
    …and bells, bells & horns
    & peculiarly seductive sirens,
    a moving Renaissance band
    playing those crazy
    Medieval instruments:
    Sacbut, Bladder Pipe, Serpent…
    I hear your steady drum beat,
    a tympanic Pavane,
    lub-dub, lub-dub,
    traveling
    through serpent's pipes.
    My a capella Madrigal:
    Take a deep breath, another,
    then a murmuration of Starlings,
    caged.
    We both breathe the same Ayre
    as the band marches on.


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