Ode to Healthcare Workers
Only Hero’s need apply.
Standing timid, like a mouse before a cat,
Knock-kneed, shaking like rattles, they curse through the haze,
Till on the haunting coughs, they turn their backs,
And towards their distant rest began to trudge.
Healthcare workers march asleep. Many have lost sleep,
Limping on, anxiously stricken. All brave; slightly holding breath;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf to fear
Fever stricken patients, gown and masked, coughing softly behind the mask.
Cough! Cough! Quick, people! An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy masks just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flouncing like a person drowning
Dim through the narrow curtains, the over-filled hallways
Under a staunch white light, you see them courageously caring.
In all their dreams before their helpless sight,
They recall patients rigidly still, hot, coughing, sweating.
In some of their smothering dreams, they too could pace
Behind the asymptomatic patient,
And watch wide eyes, writhing in their face,
Unannounced to any of them, the virus underneath
If you could hear, at every jolt, the disease
Comes gargling from the pharynx beneath
Obscene as cancer, bitter and cold like death
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would tell of these heroes
The ones whose care never rests
They are worthy of valour and glory
To our children, no lies
We shall speak of your honour, your courage
Hail to the heroes of healthcare
Respect will find you in the horizon of tomorrow.