Warriors: a poem (2020)


It's peace time—but they work in a war zone

Healthcare workers

In gowns, masks, gloves, goggles

Back and forth

Around gurneys, beds, ventilators

With the dedication

Of Florence Nightingale

In a beehive of activity

Eyes expressionless

Behind airtight goggles

Nurses exchange brief glances

Then onto the next patient

Keeping track

Hoping for positive signs

Monitors beep amid the heavy silence

In a battle for the lives of patients

Some hang on

Others lose

Families at home

Anxious for news

The phone rings

The doctor delivers the news in a monotone

A family breaks down

Shattered

Back in the war zone

More work to do

Back in the war zone

A shift ends

Gear peeled off

Time to scrub down and head home

Exhausted warriors emerge from the trenches

A silent prayer on their lips

That the unseen enemy is scrubbed off

And not following them home

In the empty streets

The sound of silence is pierced

By the sound of sirens

Another ambulance arrives.

©SARAH JANE PALMER FINE ART

 A tribute to healthcare workers on the frontline

©SARAH JANE PALMER FINE ART

 

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