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A dot in a lifetime



The time has come to reflect on the year,

Through stanza, through verse, or song.

I sit and battle to hold back a tear,

Maintaining a persona of strong.

❅ ❅ ❅

Even nature forsaking, the clouds are crying,

The evenings turned cold and dark.

No lockdown respite, getting lost in walking,

The days feel bare and stark.

❅ ❅ ❅

Where is my strength? My inner drive?

Catapulting me through the year.

When consumed by thoughts to stay alive,

First world issues had no care.

❅ ❅ ❅

I worked through holidays, and I worked through loss,

As did my friends and peers.

But for all this pain, there is a cost,

For which my paying time is near.

❅ ❅ ❅

This virus a test, a fateful gift to humanity,

Akin to any disaster or war.

A test I feel I am failing miserably,

And need to dig deeper to my core.

❅ ❅ ❅

My core: the problem; it has become a bane,

Through endless days sat at my desk.

Have left me working through constant pain,

With meagre space to take a rest.

❅ ❅ ❅

Fifty thousand deaths and rising, it is all we fear,

But there are many others we fail to see.

Of patients failed by a system of care,

And a daily reminder of moral injury.

❅ ❅ ❅

We don our armour and put up a wall,

And distance ourselves from suffering.

Effortless to stay detached, by means of a call,

No hand, no touch, no tender embracing.

❅ ❅ ❅

This virus strips life, but also steals more,

It’s robbing us of our means to care.

Our physical contact is at the very core,

Of how patients unload themselves and share.

❅ ❅ ❅

But through bare branches, sees a glimmer of sun,

Will a vaccine unlock viral purgatory?

Only time will tell whether we shun or have won,

And if we can return to a world that is free.

❅ ❅ ❅

We’ve been badged the saviour, the injectors of hope,

An agreement by no means consensual.

But we can’t help wondering, our means to cope,

Whilst maintaining business as usual.

❅ ❅ ❅

Our choices stark, the place has been set,

A menu nowhere in sight.

Acquiescing with pressure, reputation under threat,

We are fast losing the fight.

❅ ❅ ❅

We will play our part, it was ever thus,

But what sacrifice takes its place?

We are still regarded with vast mistrust,

Yet no one can fill our space.

❅ ❅ ❅

It stole Eid, Yom Kippur, and then Diwali,

We were forced to connect on Zoom.

Not content with acquiring just these three,

What else can this virus consume?

❅ ❅ ❅

It’s stolen our touch and forced us apart,

And hijacked countless lives.

But what it can’t touch, our beating heart,

With which humanity survives.

❅ ❅ ❅

A punctuation mark, a dot in a lifetime,

With many more Christmases to spend,

Facing mountains together, will continue to climb,

Until this virus we can all transcend.

❅ ❅ ❅

Dr Shaba Nabi is a GP trainer in Bristol. Read more of Dr Nabi’s blogs online at pulsetoday.co.uk/nabi

READERS' COMMENTS [2]

Decorum Est 18 December, 2020 11:09 am

Thank you Shaba – so true and well put.

Patrufini Duffy 18 December, 2020 8:58 pm

To all those that fought this virus. And themselves. And fought off those other humans. Thank you for your fight. And maybe one day soon we will turn fight into love, joy, truth and kindness.