Breathe in deeply

The ER physician requests.

Hold it.  Okay, exhale.

Easier said than done.

The patient pushes air

Past various obstacles

Which have taken up

Residence in his lungs –

Blockades, what seem like

Concrete barriers and

Through mazes more

Complicated than that

In Alice in Wonderland.

This is no wonderland.

This is the land of the

Hacking cough, gurgling,

Rattling, suffocating


He takes an antibiotic,

Inhales a puff of Albuterol

And prays that the

Elephant on his chest

Will get up and go

Back to the Serengeti

Where he belongs.

Appetite is gone.

Exercise is out of the question.

It’s a tough way to

Lose weight, the nurse

Says. Right now he

Doesn’t care. He just

Sits up in the chair,

Stares blankly at

The old Numbers reruns

On the TV and sips his

Bourbon which the nurse

Told him not to do while

Taking cough medicine

With codeine. He’s at

Home, not driving heavy

Machinery.  Say goodnight,

Patient.  Goodnight, Patient.

1 thought on “Bronchitis

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