To Those Who Will

How, in a hundred words, to sing their praise?
The force who face the plague from pole to pole
Who make our broken dreams a future, whole
Who free the lives the virus locked away.

How can I count their millions? Mending hands
That twice and more will take us by the arm
And teach our lungs to breathe, our blood to calm
To know, and scorn the pathogen’s commands.

How, summarise the fifteen billion acts
That finally cut the curve. The work, the woe
The hope and sacrifice behind the facts;
Between “vaccine” and “we are free to go”.

Leave history lab and leader, clown and crown.
When we are saved, it happens town by town.

Origin Story

Ensure your mask is tight upon your face
Before you save: a kitten up a tree,
A city’s soul. The heroes go to waste
Who bear a heart too bold; who breathe too free.

Not for your racing heart, your rushing breath
Upon the precipice; but for the weary hands,
That knit, and nurse a fire at the hearth
And bear the weight of woe when it comes home.

Nor let your care relax when once alone:
With bleach and soda clean what crossed your mouth,
Stomach a kind and cleansing sustenance
And sleep with mask and costume close at hand.

The rampage runs, unchallengéd, uncowed.
Nothing but facelessness can save us now.