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Pectoriloquy |

On the Mend FREE TO VIEW

Cathy Clay, MA
Author and Funding Information

Editor’s Note:The author writes, “‘On the Mend’ chronicles the myomectomy that I underwent in 2006. The poem reflects the cathartic power of poetry alongside its function as written testament. Presently, I teach English at the junior college level.”

Houston, TX


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


Chest. 2017;151(2):509. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2016.07.031
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    Judas uterus imploded spawning fake babies and a terrible sea of red. The healers
    poked and prodded archaic wands, thick and thin, to diagnose my affliction. The cure—
    suspend my lady parts in mid-air to sever the troublesome masses while I lie in a sleep induced by the anesthetic sister of tequila margarita.

    When the projected two hours doubled, Mama demanded and received an explanation:
    my womb hosted more guests than had RSVP’D. After six hours, I awoke hoarse with a
    stapled belly and catheter in tow. Three days in, art mirrored life as I beheld a glossy photo of fifteen lumps of flesh posed left to right in descending order on a steel table.
    Home I went with an image to archive apart from snapshots of travel and girlhood.

    The painkillers worked; however, they summoned dreams of black folk who dwelled
    above an ocean of oil and traveled by chutes and ladders. Prostrate rest was the antidote
    for a little while. Then gradually, I sat upright which led to virtual shopping. Though stooped and slowly, I walked as needed. Inevitably, came the urge to paint my face.

    Recuperation granted time to get my house in order. Sporting hideous gold fabric, the Victorian chaise was project prime. To a warehouse, off I went sifting and searching through aisles of brocades and burlaps. True I stayed: velvet again, crimson of course. By the time the upholsterers returned the relic, I was standing upright and able to recline gracefully.

    At last, an open window framed a lovely sun drenched day in March. Trees, lush and green, danced in the cool breeze and their leaves lullabied my prognosis: I would be fine, and death knew I was decorating.


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