Little Gestures
Poetry - Spring 2023

Little Gestures

Little Gestures

By Seth Peterson, PT, DPT

Download the article (pdf)

You turned the broken door handle,
went inside, and here we are.

The tools I have to help are few.
But you don’t know how we can be

bulls in china shops,
thrushes thundering overhead,

sometimes snapping crocodiles.
My eyes dart downward and back up.

I take a breath and nod
and place my hand just so.

How could something so small
heal something so perfect?

Statement of Reflection:

I find clinical care and relationship-building to be an extremely fulfilling part of my work as a physical therapist. However, I find that I can best feel that fulfilment when reflecting on the experience. Recently, that has included reflecting on the challenges that come along with providing compassionate clinical care in the healthcare system of today. With “Little Gestures,” my intention was to highlight how powerful (and at times rebellious) it can feel to provide truly compassionate care within a healthcare system that often pulls us away from the patient.

About the Author(s)

Seth Peterson, PT, DPT

Seth Peterson, PT, DPT is a physical therapist, author, and private practice owner in Tucson, Arizona. He is a board-certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. Seth works full-time in his clinical practice and is an adjunct Professor at Arizona School of Health Sciences — A.T. Still University. Seth is the also the founder of The Movement Brainery, a continuing education company focused on providing accessible mentorship and courses integrating mindfulness and clinical reasoning into clinical practice.


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