At 5 a.m. this morning, I am thinking of my daughter. She is an R.N. at one of the city hospitals in Edmonton and she is no stranger to 5 a.m. Work for her starts at 6:15. This poem in a pandemic, is for her and for all of our front line workers, who go to work daily, risking their lives for the rest of us.
With Love, From Edmonton
The door clicks behind you in the otherwise sleeping building,
You head for the LRT—another day.
A bus goes by with one soul on board headed into the dark of morning
where “It” waits, invisible.
The news shows a mass murder in Nova Scotia, a flood in Fort McMurray,
I try to turn down the knob on my trauma channel
Dial down the Red Zone.
Two chickadees on the feeder steady me.
Over my mound of potato chips, the cashier tells another COVID joke
The City guy comes by to pick up our blue bag
“Hey, thanks!” I yell.
“No problem, have a good day!” comes back to me.
Social distancing, blue bag distancing, chickadee distancing…
It’s all at a distance now.
Inhaling a global breath of wind,
I taste the air, feeling it deep in my lungs
My pen skips along the page trying to explain,
trying to tell a tale of you.
At work, you are the soft voice that speaks of many things
Of patients and PPE
Of masks and methodologies
You, who glimpse the invisible.
Your phone vibrates
It’s another R.N. friend who is running a COVID testing site in B.C.
Your hands, dry as sandpaper, with all the washing,
Touch the screen—catching another Kitty video on your break.
Yet, at the end of the day, you create the Genesis of a song
Of fearless fighters in the rain
Of hope amid the pain
Diminished, yet more
We all want to sing your song
this Edmonton sing-a-long—of love.
(Mother’s Day 2020)