Crow Poem Revisited: The Colors of Therapy by Mark Tulin

Sitting in the waiting room at 6 p.m.,

I’m already feeling hopeful.

Although my chest feels tight

and my world a fragile mess.

I walk into your office, wide-eyed with fear

of what we will find behind the closed door;

my self-defeating tendencies, my secrets—

hurtful people and events I can no longer ignore.

You gently guide me through the maze;

the winding corridors, twisting and turning

inward to those frozen memories

that you call denial and repression.

tell me to move slow.

My worries will lessen with time

if I learn to trust you and grasp your hand

to brace me from the fall.


As we chip away like Rodin

on all those bleak winter evenings,

I start out with nothing but a sigh

and end up with so much more.


All my trauma unravels from a spool;

frayed threads unable to find the needle’s eye.

You teach me that it’s normal to stumble.

You tell me, however long it takes.

You help me rediscover my strength;

new ways to get through the distress.

You say I have it within me to heal;

to move past the doubt, instilling hope in fear.

As your words ring in my reluctant heart,

I move past the darkness of my mind—

the blues and blacks to the peaceful pastels;

and then to the bright, sunny hues.

When the details of my self-portrait are done,

I give you a hug and leave the safety of the room behind.

You promise you will always be nearby;

a phone call if needed, an appointment away.


The Colors of Therapy and its video poem was originally published at LetterPile.com.

Freelance writer, poet, yogi and photographer from Santa Barbara, California. I write and take pictures about a variety of topics, from my early childhood in Philadelphia, to my years as a family therapist, and finally to my soul-searching years in California. The things that move me may have a humorous or serious content or both. Either way, I hope my poetry, pictures and stories resonate with you.

23 comments on “Crow Poem Revisited: The Colors of Therapy by Mark Tulin

  1. That’s beautiful 🌹

  2. Very poignant and your words are resonating strongly Mark…..

  3. Really lovely, Mark. Sounds exactly how I felt with my AMAZING Therapist. Incredible to have so much non-judgemental love and support. Cheers to You and Your journey! 🤗🙏🏼❤️🦋🌟

  4. Love the poem, but what about that theme – wow! To the bone and then deeper again. You have a rare talent.

  5. This is such an intriguing poem. To me, it’s the therapist’s perception of the client’s perception of the therapist. I agree that the good therapist knows what you need. The one who helped me the most explained the treatment modality she was using and how it works because that’s how I interact with the world. She also wasn’t afraid to say, “I don’t know.” I really respected her for that.

    • Several good points, Liz. I especially liked the idea of the therapist explaining the modality so a layperson understands. That’s a skilled therapist who could do that correctly. 🙂🙂

  6. Beautifully put as always, Mark. Thank you for your insight.

  7. All healthcare professionals should read this!!
    Just finished a book called ‘In Shock’ Rana Adwish
    Docs story of becoming a patient and how that transformed how she is a doc…

  8. Once again, you’ve outdone yourself in your words. Good one.

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