Hope. A poem by Fran Bardsley

The chairs are arranged two metres apart.
Each time a door opens,
A porter
(Quietly and unobtrusively)
Sprays each point of contact,
Wipes thoroughly.
He is kept busy.My name is called.
We dance through the corridors,
My masked guide keeping a safe distance
As we awkwardly avoid the doctors, nurses and other volunteers.

I fill my pot then wait.

Inside the room with the nurse,
We cannot keep our distance as she takes my blood.
Her hidden face is unreadable as we make small talk.
I am closer to her than to anyone outside my family for weeks
But her face is unreachable.

Another room now.
Another masked professional.
The injection is prepared and delivered.
I don’t look
(I never do).
She gives me my instructions,
Thanks me for volunteering
While eyeing up the chair
She must now wipe clean of my contamination.

As misery, disease, poverty and pain stalk the land,
Could hope lie here with the prick of a needle
Repeated a thousand times over?

Later, I lift the plaster.
There’s barely a scratch to be seen.
The nudge is persistent.
It cannot be ignored.
There is hope.

A journalist for 10 years, Fran now works in marketing and PR in the education sector and writes as much as she can. Older writings can be found here: mightier-than-the-sword.blogspot.com

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