Anatomy Lesson




I lead a creative writing group for Redbridge and District U3A. I wrote this poem in January when the NHS was stretched to the limit. I was inspired by Michael Rosen's moving poem 'These Are The Hands'

This is the elbow that greets its colleagues at the start of the shift
These are the arms that turn over and lift
These are the feet that pace the floor that wheel the bed through the door
These are the ears that listen to the chest
These are the eyes that read the notes to decide what’s best
These are the nostrils at risk and so brave, that belong to the nurse determined to save
These are the knees that bend and implore their God that Covid should be no more
These are the tears so bitterly shed when one of their number lies in a bed
These are the shoulders that carry the burden of saving lives
Supporting the neck where the stethoscope lies
This is the sweat from the PPE that medics endure in an effort to cure
This is the voice and the mouth and the tongue that talks to the daughter allaying her fear, that gives her the news that she’s longing to hear
These are the lips, the eyes, and all of the face, along with the hands that applaud the father who departs from this place
This is the heart along with the soul that strive to keep patients safe and whole
This is the gut that ties into knots because of despair with oxygen not there
This is the hair that’s pulled out in frustration as disease threatens the whole of the nation
This is the blood that boils when people are careless with all of these toils
This is the brain in its quest to combat this strain of disease
This is the chin that sticks out in defiance ready to fight with this vaccine alliance
This is the elbow so weary and wan that touches its colleague when the long shift is done

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