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By: Lauri Cherian

Dedicated to healthcare workers who are tirelessly and heroically working to hold it together during the pandemic.

Honorable Mention · Adult Writing (2021)

Healthcare workers encased in PPE
Body enshrouded with blue paper gown
Light blue layered masks
Cover your mouth and nose
Peering through clear plastic
We see your courage

Scenes of suffering play out before you
Fear is stuffed unnoticed and out of sight
Tears are quickly wiped away
Emotions trigger a lump in your throat
Stress, anxiety and a sense of dread linger
Just below the surface on high alert
Adrenaline and cortisol prepare your body and mind
To keep what needs to be done at hand

Witnessing the labored breaths
Fighting to keep lungs clear
Struggling for life
Returning day after day to a war zone
Body after body
Holding their last moments with family
In your gloved hands on a cellphone or iPad
Agony of watching a painful goodbye
Facing an invisible foe with courage

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