Nurses, like nuns, bless it as soon as it was carried
into South Dakota, covered in prayer,
baptized in carbon dioxide.
The chosen one, sent to save us from each other,
born to teach cells how to create,
to remove what is foreign.
We see only eyes of the nurse
in The New York Times, tired eyes that hold
visions of last breaths, labored and lonely.
Not everyone is ready for it. Nonbelievers
often loudest, mouths exposed
go viral beyond our screens.
In Boston, heroes in scrubs dance in the street
upon the arrival, hands to the sky, their joy
drowns any noise not music.
For some, it comes too late.
Morgues still fill up quicker
than it can seep through muscle tissue.
Just like any other savior, available to the fortunate
and the rich. Just like any other savior,
more questions than answers.
Stephanie Kendrick is the author of Places We Feel Warm, published by Main Street Rag. Find her in Sheila-Na-Gig, Women of Appalachia Project’s Volumes 4, 5, & 6, Ghost City Review, Northern Appalachia Review, and elsewhere.
Photo by engin akyurt.