You Don’t Know. You Can’t Know.

Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska via Unsplash

No one tells you what
to feel when your co-worker
is diagnosed with a virus
that does not relent, has no remorse,
could not care less about your
family, friends, lifestyle, sexuality,
or economic status.

They don’t prepare you for
the see-sawed up and down
roller coaster ride you will experience,
constantly checking to see if he’s okay.
Your insides grow numb,
your mind loses its pistol-like
ability to adapt to anything, and you
find yourself saying . . .

“It’s okay.” “It’s okay.” “It’s okay.”

But, you don’t know.
You can’t know.
You have no earthly idea
if it’s okay.
One day, he’s breathing well
on his own, the next — oxygen levels
have tanked and ICU is clamoring
to scoop up another body and
swivel the bed up against the back wall
of a hospital room that smells more like
alcohol and potent disinfectants
than a place someone goes to
heal.

When you work in healthcare,
you grin and bear it, tuck your feelings
deep within you, move on, and
fight until your bones crack and ache
and it pains you to sit down, and you take
your ass home, shower, cook, walk your dog,
and find thirty minutes of rest before you
get up and do it all over again.

And you still wonder,
“Will he make it today”
or “Will today be the day
our higher-ups plod around with
heavy feet to tell us of his death?”
You don’t want to hear the sound
of the Grim Reaper coming with
his scythe ready to strike.

You pray for this loved one, call in
backup and ask them to send warriors
with fangs that cut through tough flesh
and hearts of pure gold.
God becomes a friend you argue with and
confess things you’ve held deep within
you for decades.

You tell him you’re tired of his bullshit —
you want him to let this one be.
Let this man live so his nine-year-old
son can see him smiling once again.
You tell him to get it together and not
make any more room for lives
senselessly lost to something we
cannot contain.

And then you cry yourself to sleep
again — just like you did
the night before. And the one before that.
And the one before that.

Then, you wake up,
put on the face they ask you
to wear to work, cover it with a mask,
and ready yourself for more
of the same.

You don’t know — you can’t know
if he’ll live.


Originally published in P. S. I Love You via Medium.

On: The Lives of African-Americans & People of Color

Photo by Ezekixl Akinnewu via Pexels

You don’t understand the anger b/c you are not the target. Your life isn’t on the line every time you come in contact with those purposed to “protect” & “serve”. Don’t question our anger. It’s warranted & has been bottled up for eons. An explosion of epic proportions is brewing.

Stand with us or sit down.

Featured Poem of the Week

Ashwini Dodani

Ashwini was recently added to A Cornered Gurl as a contributor and is a faithful supporter and pretty well known Writer on Medium. He specializes in gut-punching, knee-buckling poetry, and can also melt your heart too. He is the Editor and sole host of From The Poet’s Heart, a publication on Medium that is budding beautifully. What he will bring to the publication is a sound and consistent flow of the beauty of words and I am rather happy he is now apart of our community. His poem “Standing Up For Myself” is this week’s feature.



Standing Up For Myself

Not Your Business

Photo by Allan Gonzalez Vega from Pexels

Of Course!

Stare at me, as you always do,
judge as you always do,
measure me in all the small capacities
you can but I will not be affected,

and I will not even let you know that I am not…

I don’t expect you to know
my battles, my pain,

my insecurities, my leftover sanity,
my ego melted into self-respect,
my self-respect shattered into hollowness,
No, I seriously don’t,
But if you can, if you really can,
do take those eyes off me,
that keep doubting and make me
even unsure of my most determined
decisions,
 I request not command
to let me be, and take my beliefs
to turn them into reality…

But somehow I can sense, you won’t change,
and hence 
I am forced to tell you in your face,
I am standing up for myself,
and it’s none of your business…

 


More poetry by me and 50+ others, join us at From The Poet’s Heart.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.