(Poetry) The Torch Bearers

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She leans over

And kisses him gently on the forehead

Her heart is heavy

This may be the last time

They will share physical contact

A tiny sob escapes

From her constricted throat

A single tear streams down her cheeks

Dropping gently on his cheeks

Stirring him into a sleepy murmur

Her closeness and familiar fragrance

Eliciting a smile on his face

From deep within the world of slumber

She has to leave

Now

There are lives to save

The dark clouds are growing

And hers may be

One of the sacrificial offerings

To appease the raging gods

Like a soldier going to war

She steels her resolution

This is the culmination

Of all her training

This is the truest test

Of her own humanity

The world is enveloped in darkness

Humbled by a primordial fear

Even though the sun blazes at noon

Despair rents the air

And the minds of men lose hope

The gift of time

Just became more precious

Happy memories

Even more treasured

She will not give in to the panic

She must not

She has a quest to fulfil

This is her destiny

Quietly she joins the line

One of the torch bearers

Assigned to restore hope

And bring light

To the hearts of men

Posterity is a heavy burden

She carries her lit torch

Marching forward

Crying for the loved ones

She may never see again

Cheered by the many lives

She may yet save

And bring to light

Comforted by the knowledge

That either she survives or dies

She would have left the world

A better place

A safer place

For the many

Who knew not her name

And the few

Who loved it intimately

( Poet: Femi Onakanren. Poetry inspired by the lives of selfless health workers in the fight against Covid-19)
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