Seated on My Hospital Bed

My seventh-floor window vibrates,
          the room throbs in crescendo
as a rescue helicopter stitches
          a curved seam across the sky
bound for Children’s Hospital.
          Balanced like a dragonfly
it settles on the roof.
          As the blades stretch to slow,
curled jumpsuits spring free,
          deliver a cot, coax it up
to stand on baby deer legs,
          urge it toward a door.
My mind draws in close,
          imagining the injured child
or fevered unconscious body,
          the nearby ashen parents.
I blink. My self-pity has vanished.

Dianne Silvestri is a retired physician and associate professor of dermatology at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine. Author of the chapbook Necessary Sentiments, she has poems published in Pulse, JAMA, American Journal of Nursing, The Healing Muse, The Examined Life Journal, Reflective MedEd and elsewhere. Coming out soon from CavanKerry Press is her poetry collection But I Still Have My Fingerprints.

About the Poem

“This poem emerged after I witnessed the scene from the window of my seventh-floor hospital room, during the forty days when I learned my diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia and received chemotherapy. On bleak days, finding causes for gratitude helped me maintain peace and hope. I am thankful to be nearly nine years in remission, alive with a stem-cell transplant, a loving family and an excellent medical team.”

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6 thoughts on “Seated on My Hospital Bed”

  1. Thank you for the reminder to be grateful no matter what state, circumstance I find myself. Whatever I am going through, including the loss of my only child this past August, it could be worse. Praying 2022 will truly be your best year yet. Blessings. DWC

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