Monday, 27 July 2020

Double Shift

by Jill Sharon Kimmelman

Another crazy chaotic work day looms: 24 hours

Can you do it?
perhaps...if you turn a deaf ear to the noisy chatter 
of concerns threatening to topple
every text book...fence post...memorized statistic inside your bleary mind

It's not a day for dreaming dreams and sipping coffee slowly
it's a day for getting through and under and over and out the door

Minute by minute...hour after hour 
they call out your name
hugging the corners...patients with fears
so many lost souls...riddled with grief 
red-rimmed eyes...swimming with tears

Anxious patients wait...not always patiently their buttons
you cannot ignore those ceaseless ringing bells 

Needy people...needing you
each one demanding something different
a break...a meal...change for the bus...a hug 
fighting against their dying...headed for heaven 
some days are just plain hell!

They need you to take them outside their confusion
and miles away from their pain

Thirteen hours to go...welcome back hero
to the the chaos...
to the tiny spark of someone's hope

Do they say the words aloud
or is it enough just to see thanks in their smile 
on a face that hasn't smiled in perhaps a dozen years

So many sounds...too many sounds
by day's end you are ready...more than ready for silence 
yet...when it is too quiet
you lay restless...engulfed in dark and stillness
sleep has become an unanswered prayer

You realize hits you hard
you haven’t heard her voice all day

When at last you make the call
she is half asleep...her words are soft 
you clutch them to you as a prize 
finally can close your eyes

You helped a few souls
you fought the good fight 
another work day fades to black 
as she enters your dreams 
beautiful in resplendent light

* * * * *

Author’s note:  written, with gratitude, while the author was a hospital patient, in appreciation, to the extraordinary first responders and her team of dedicated nurses.

Jill Sharon Kimmelman was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, in poetry, in 2017 and Best Of The Net 2018. Recent publications include, Spillwords Press, Yasou! A Celebration Of Life Ezine and Better Than Starbucks. Current publications are in the works.

She enjoys “cooking from the heart”, theatre, lively book discussions and photography. She lives in Delaware with her husband, Tim.