caregiver heart poemAll Poetry

A Caregiver’s Heart.

I cared for you even before we met.

As letters meandering the page
sketched the contours of a portrait,
I looked forward to meeting you.

As I enter the room,
I sense a fragrance of time past,
of struggles endured years before–
silent whispers of a mind’s unrest
reflected through misted eyes.

As we talk,
of a soul’s facade you steadily disrobe.
Words of suffering and pain, joy and pride-
each syllable a silvered twine
weaving your life’s story.

I examine you.
Your heart-
that fulcrum deeply hinged.
A bittersweet thrum
of a battery strong but worn.
Your lungs-
that which sing
their own melodious song,
a lulling carol
invigorated with each exhale.

From there a journey it becomes
to strengthen you, to make you whole.
A disease conquered, a valley bridged.
A hollow filled, a life restored.

We work together.
As ripples in a wake,
your life affects mine,
for the same heart that aches
when you suffer
rejoices with you
in your victories.

Because this is what I treasure–
the chance to care for you,
to walk with you.

It is a privilege.

So thank you for letting me.

Phoebe Chi, MD
Phoebe Chi, MD

As a physician educator and the managing editor of Health + Inspiration, Dr. Chi aims to inspire, inform, and empower the reader community. She is the author of Being Empowered for a Healthy Heart: A personal guide to taking control of your health while living with chronic conditions, a poetry-infused health guide, and founder of Pendants for a Cause, a nonprofit organization with the purpose of raising funds to fight illness, provide care, and bring awareness to medically vulnerable populations around the world.

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63 replies »

  1. You need to copy this to some beautiful background paper, frame it, and hang it on the wall in your office…, in a prominent place where every patient can see it. The message it sends is that important, Phoebe. Very nice job ! 🙂

  2. To hear a voice,
    by ear,
    or direction, north, west an south
    as well as in
    the center of our own
    subconscious mind…

    Hidden secrets
    as we travel
    so bold…

    kisses & hugs chris

  3. Beautiful and sublime. A truly caring human being who cares for others and understands their humanity. It is moving indeed. We need more doctors like this. Very good write!

    • Thanks, Jim. 🙂 My hope has always been that physicians (or rather, all caregivers) would strive to maintain the joy of caring for others. That we would fight to not lose such a precious thing…

  4. Your prose is as compassionate, lyrical and human as ever. As always, you have my earnest applause.

    Also, Happy New Year Phoebe! May 2016 be a kind(er) one.

  5. Exquisitely said. I like your line that states “your lungs- that which sings their own melodious song.” Except the ones I listened to sounds like carburetor that sputters and wheeze. 🙂

  6. THIS is what we all hope to have from our physician when we need them the most……when we’re helpless and sick, feeling hopeless and lost……..a good physician is a light in the darkest tunnel and we move toward it with trust and hope. You put all of that in poetic form SO well…….the dedication you bring to each patient’s bedside shines through each line.


    • Thank you, Pam. I can just imagine the feeling of hopelessness and vulnerability of being severely ill and at the mercy of a few strangers. We are called ‘caregivers’– my hope is that we all would aim to provide the best care…not simply to diagnose and treat…but to genuinely care for them and their family during this time.

  7. What can I say, Phoebe, except beautiful, beautiful. I wish more doctors wrote poetry, connected with feelings/emotions, and adorned their offices with lovely art like yours, 🙂

  8. What a caring and compassionate heart and soul, Phoebe… I’d like to share this with ‘all’ my doctors…
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

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