Wearing whatever could be made in time,
he strolled the corridors of need,
knowing that his work would wrest
a grieving groan from his gambolling gut.
He smiled through his mask, at a
mountain of plastic moving slowly
on tired feet and eyes that showed the
shadows of pain and further tragic loss.
Donning his mound of clean clothes
and a mask fitted to his contours,
he wrestled with his soul and prayed
for today to be better that any yesterday.
Entering the intensive care ward area
he looked for faces he knew, people
he ventilated, he’d held their hands
willing them back to breathing, health and life.
Some waved a hand and some were
gone, and others were in their beds,
while a nurse whispered the numbers
and told him of her friend who was dead.
Tasting the bitter gall of perseverance,
he worked through with courage and care,
stopping to encourage and weep, for
the ones who were no longer lying there.
At last, he was relieved as another took
his place, and peeling off the layers he
remembered the face of the woman
who was recovering, and would see her
family again -he smiled recalling her smile
giving him the strength to