Pectoriloquy |


Marguerite Bouvard
Author and Funding Information

Editor’s Note:The author writes, “I wrote this poem to celebrate how we can live well with difficult physical problems and that living with illness does not mean that we cannot have a good life.”

Wellesley, MA

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

Chest. 2017;151(2):508. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2016.07.037
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    How much we take for granted,
    I reflect,
    remembering a long hike with my husband
    when I could focus on
    the valley unfurling beneath us, each step
    as easy as breathing,
    and how turning off the light each night
    meant sleep, then
    greeting the day as if it were an endless expanse.
    Now each day is a negotiation
    and the hours are few, but I have learned that
    few can be many.
    I have discovered a world that flees
    grief and illness,
    but that with friends and my loved one
    few can be many.
    I have discovered how to reach out
    to those we ignore,
    the depth of compassion, the hidden cost
    of a new kind of learning,
    and that despite the static of endless nights,
    unpredictable days,
    these prisons are not within myself.




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