Blessed, a poem for a pandemic
By Patrick T. Reardon
Blessed are the dead and the dying.
Blessed, the mourn-filled good-byes
to loves behind glass, behind walls.
Blessed, neighborhoods of pain,
grief communities, lightning-struck homes,
annunciations of the Angel of Death.
Blessed are the respiratory technicians,
nurses, doctors, lab pathologists.
Blessed, the women and men who clean hospital floors.
Blessed are the unhealthy, the aimless,
lost souls, lone hearts, stunted, scarred,
the poor, rich in afflictions.
Blessed, those ascending stairs, entering vestibules,
with groceries, with medicines, long days, dangerous.
Blessed, those who repair.
Blessed are those who protect, those who care,
those who drive buses, masked and vulnerable,
those out of work.
Blessed are those who stay home to save lives,
who can stay home, selfless in their selfishness,
wanting to live, not wanting others to die.
Blessed, the children who adapt.
Blessed, the babies, innocent, unfearful
of invisible invader.
Blessed, the makers of hard decisions.
Blessed, the disease detectives.
Blessed, the inspirers, the hope-sters, the up-lifters.
Blessed are those who whirlwind bloom,
who are brave before mysteries,
who embrace the morning.
Blessed are the dead and the dying,
the courageous and the hand-holders.
Blessed, us, one and all.
Patrick T. Reardon
This poem originally appeared at Third Coast Review on 4.28.20.