Main Article Content

Adrian M. Schnall


I met you one time,

Johnny Cash.

I was the one in the robin’s-egg blue mask

threading a line

to the left anterior descending

of your heart.


Your drummer told us

how your chest was caught in a giant vise,

van hurtling down an Interstate,

how that booming baritone of yours

could barely croak out “hospital.”


Did you hear

every mask and gown in the room

let out a cheer,

when the plugged-up pipe

deep in your heart

flowed free?

That wasn’t applause for a top-ten vocalist,

nor for the fingers

that coiled the snake so expertly.

No, that was a cheer for life.


You sent us each a country ham.

Other days we weren’t so lucky.

Article Details

Author Biography

Adrian M. Schnall, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine

Clinical Professor

Division of Cinical and Molecular Endocrinology

Case Western Reserve School of Medicine