Dedicated to the soldiers in the Ebola fight: all Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea nurses and doctors, and international volunteers. Below some names of soldiers alive or dead who’ve helped our humanity in no particular order:
Pauline Cafferkey, Abraham Borbor, Samuel Brisbane, Victor Willoughby, Diana Sarteh, Teresa Romero Ramos
The alarm growls “Wake up!” in song into her sleeping ears
As slowly she opens brown blood-shot eyes
To swipe upwards at the pulley menu on the buzzing screen
To dismiss the noise and jump out of warmth into ice
Cold morning brings to her bones with draughty jeers.
Off into the cold she drags her tired body.
Off to the hospital where she spends long days and nights,
Fighting death in guerrilla battles – some she’d win
Some would come back as knife-sharp nightmares and fright-
As she cared for the mildly sick and critically sick bodies.
“Today is special though” her fear-stricken heart surmises
As she walks in and switches apparel and goes working.
Today’s different: the heat in the astronaut gear;
The multiple scrubs; the care to take everywhere you’re walking;
The hope…no….prayer that your bit suffices to grow survivors;
Living the working day through a visor: Different.
This deadly virus vying for plague of the millennium
By bringing entire families to the pier of the Styx,
Fills the ward where she must administer care and calm delirium,
While calming her pulse enough that she would be efficient.
Can they hear her heart beat? Can they smell her fear?
Just a drop from the wrong spot on her exposed skin
And she’d join them here without the white armour,
Swinging on the balance of life from a kinked shoe string,
Unable to bring the love that brought her here.
Yes. She knows it might be over at any time:
Her ardour, her love, her care, her own piece
To the fight against the miniscule giant threat.
But she takes up her arms to fight the disease,
A soldier of love giving new hope to the living and the dying.