Heroes of the Pandemic

Pandemic Poetry

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No days off for nurses,
for doctors, for epidemiologists
caught in a losing race
against time, lives held
like water
in a bucket with many leaks,
resources gobbled up
like breadcrumbs
thrown to the crows.

Think of opthamologist Li Wenliang,
who sounded the alarm
where sounding the alarm
was an act of treason,
who was forced into quarantine
with his entire family,
and thusly doomed to die
in Wuhan, China.

Think of Dr. Helen Chu,
who disobeyed direct orders
issued by the president
through the CDC
and tested patients for covid-19
when testing was not allowed,
who showed the world
that the lid to Pandora’s pandemic
was not hermetically sealed,
and thusly revealed
Seattle was the new Ground Zero.

Think of the practitioners,
the attendants of direct care,
maintenance staff and more,
working in nursing homes
where they must guard their doors,
force anniversaries to be held apart,
lonely husbands standing on sidewalks
holding balloons and cards,
while their residents tumble
helplessly down dark tunnels,
drowning in wells
no one else can see.

This is not how the world ends,
not bang, not whimper,
not saliva passed
through the droplets of a cough
to new lungs,
no, the world lives on
despite the danger,
cashiers still standing
at the end of the checkout lane
waiting to take your funds,
the parking lot crowded with cars
each waiting for spaces
to open up
as those inside leave
carrying their purchases
back to their homes.


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Written by

Provocative truth teller, author of 14 poetry collections. Cat dad. Dog dad. Currently working from Portland, Oregon. Learn more at: Jaysizemore.com.

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