poetry

pandemic continues

And though we know that the pandemic cannot last forever
the end is beyond my sight
around the corner or just ahead
or beyond th e horizon where the moon rises
swollen and blurred behind the fog

and though we know there will be an end
the self proclaimed experts do not know what that will look like
the day we can leave our cocoons
with our faces turned up to the sun and breath in the unencumbered breeze

the day we forget what it felt like to hesitate before a hug
not because we fear intrusion

it has been a while since I first learned to recognize my coworkers
by their eyes behind goggles and shields
or the way they move their bodies
or the sound of their muffled lipless speech

it has been a while since the waiting room teemed with bodies jostling for the chair near the outlet
knowing they would wait hours for help with what they cannot tend to on their own
on the days when the radio rings with yet another unresponsive likely overdose
so many that we have run out of curiosity
so many that the act of giving breaths and placing tubes and giving narcan
no longer leads to surprise or annoyance that the supply drawer is never stocked
and the floor is a field of wrappers and blood and vomit
on these days we just look at each other in understanding and sadness
there are no words

Thank you Seema Reza for your work with us on Community Building Art Works. The writing group for healthcare workers has been so nurturing and inspiring, giving me hope through these dark days

Rage Writing

Rage Writing with Seema Yasmin
— Read on seemareza.com/rage-writing-with-seema-yasmin/

There are people who will tell you that
you must care for the drunk driver who
was unaware that her decision ended the life of the mom whose
teenage son’s world is about to change when he
wakes up from the sedative given to fix his fractured wrist

he must heal his heart and body without her
the mom who would fill the ziploc with ice and carefully wrap it in a kitchen towel
who would wipe his tears and wrap her arms around his big man body as he cries
in the one bed in the flat they share with his school papers strewn on the floor

There are people who will tell you that
you must forgive
forgive those who slash open your heart with the betrayal
of the only promise that really mattered
they tell you forgiveness is for you not the one
who undermined your reason for living

I want to be hated by those people who want to silence the rage
that falls from my pen
the depth of anger that erupts through my scalp
at the man who harmed the child we promised to protect
that man who walked through his life with
an earnest face and a vile secret 

there are people who will tell you that
that life with three squares and no freedom is enough
enough to atone
is there atonement for the hate?

Thank you Seema Reza  for your work with us on Community Building Art Works. and to Seema Yasmin for the special online writing workshop The writing group for healthcare workers has been so nurturing and inspiring, giving me hope through these dark days