Tis over – the pandemic. Few have survived
so many old friends, far too many gone.
After a long while, I make a return to Ward 9.

Whom shall I fraternize? With whom am I to share
the melancholic joy that ‘m still living?
Yet, that ventilator still hums; careless of my presence.

I am now a stranger, known to no one here
alone on the sideline, long since forgotten
and where my bed once lay, another has taken occupancy.

Yet life goes on, paramedics, nurses and doctors
young and old buzz around, nursing the sick
committed to duty – selflessness that earns medals.

Yet none I now know of that I could tip my hat to,
whose eyes would offer me a welcome recognition
I hope ‘m not too late, too late to have said: “THANK YOU!”

© Ugo Nkwoala. Spilledwoords, 2020

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