Poetry by Cancer Caregivers

Langer, Corey J. MD

Oncology Times:
doi: 10.1097/01.COT.0000451752.58443.41

    Submissions are welcome from oncologists, oncology nurses, and other cancer caregivers. E-mail only, please, to: OT@LWWNY.com, and include affiliation/title, address, and phone number, along with a photo, if available.

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    Lexicon of Pulmonary Dysfunction

    It might be the lepidic spread Of tiny cells that choke off air The proverbial snowstorm In a birdcage A self-contained blizzard From which the snow's never cleared

    Or the deep descent of scar that entombs Sacs of air so nothing enters Fibrotic foe of elasticity Like over-washed knickers Ready for rummage

    Or it might be the relentless creation Of bullae, burgeoning balloons Of unreconstructed air That crowd-compress Their working brethren Blue bloating Pink puffing Sinking without ever Going under

    Or maybe they're perfectly healthy Stonewalled into silence By something else, Like an engine that stalls, Then freezes.

    Either way, What we take for granted Ends

    Like the Man on the Mountain Before the rapid midnight tumble Into the gorge below Or the dreams you can't quite recall In the light of day.

    Corey J. Langer, MD, is Professor of Medicine and Chief of Thoracic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center, Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.

    A former President of Delaware Valley Poets, a grassroots group based in Lawrenceville, NJ, that conducts monthly workshops and hosts monthly readings, he continues to spearhead its monthly readings, which are now done in tandem with US 1 Worksheets at the Princeton Public Library.

    His poetry has been widely published, including in Brooklines, A Muddy River Anthology, A Different Latitude, Thatchwork, Annals of Internal Medicine, Edison Literary Review, Quick and Dirty Poets, Identity Theory, U.S.1, and U.S.1 Worksheets.

    © 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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