“My Ode to an ICU Bed,” by Nico Tobias
June 24, 2019
I really like the ICU beds.
They remind me of my pillow.
They’re always unpredictable —
when you turn the head down, the back will inflate,
when someone sits down on the edge, it will deflate,
when someone stands up, it will inflate,
if you set something on the bed that shouldn’t be there,
it will cave in very deep.
But it’s great for sleeping —
when you lie in the bed, you go into it
and it adjust to you and your body —
and I’m out like a flash at night.
And it makes these sounds when it changes.
It sounds like a computer turning on,
or the air conditioning turning on,
like a suction sound, or releasing air.
There it goes again!
I’m used to the sound, it’s not a problem,
because everything else makes up for it —
like all the gadgets, TV, room, you can turn on the lights.
And it’s softer,
so much softer than the other hospital beds.
It’s the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in,
even better than my bed at home!
Nico Tobias wrote this poem while at Seattle Children’s Hospital, with WITS Writer Sierra Nelson. Performed at Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Journalism Series event with Kara Swisher at Benaroya Hall on May 7, 2019.