Bedside Manners

In which Carrie composes a poem for the health professionals who have helped her along the way…

The Hippocratic Oath

You brought me in.

Not strong enough to kick or counter:
But screaming and seeking.

This was joy.


Adolescence ushered the need
To nudge out my baby teeth.
You cleaned, and straightened
And repaired them like Venetian architecture,

So I could eat.



I was so frightened I wouldn’t ever play basketball
again, after the horse threw me.
“Can you just pop it back in?”
But, no, a pin and a brace for six weeks,

Stayed put.


You taught me to add and subtract
The desire for sugar and pain of denial
While an aggressive constant
Claimed my autonomy, and awarded body-knowledge.

Equanimity as final.


Your hands on my head caused tears
And the lemon and lavender
Soothed, while stimulated.
Sometimes you tickled my feet,

To laughter.


And the pride I saw, with my one good eye
At your job well done
Made me realize, you personalized this
By calling me on your own phone,

To check in on me.


-Carrie Anne Ebner


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