By Elizabeth Guzman
In your eyes we see fear,
Fear when you are told you tested positive,
Fear of the unknown and what is to come,
Fear in not knowing if you will overcome this.
In your eyes we see sadness,
Sadness when you are told you cannot have a loved one by your side,
Sadness when you realize that the disease is in fact real,
Sadness when you are isolated in a room by yourself,
Sadness as the only way you can see your family is through the eye of a camera.
In your eyes we see panic,
Panic when breathing gets harder and harder,
Panic when help can’t come fast enough,
Panic as the same mask which is helping you breathe, feels like it’s suffocating you,
Panic as you realize you may soon be taking your last breath.
In your eyes we see defeat,
Defeat as your body becomes tired,
Defeat as you realize your body is giving up,
Defeat when your body lays flaccid and you no longer have the strength to fight.
In our eyes, you also see fear,
Fear because we are overloaded,
Fear due to exhaustion,
Fear when you ask us if you will make it out of this.
In our eyes you can see panic,
Panic when help does not come fast enough,
Panic while we attempt to save your life because we know you have a family to go home to,
Panic when you are struggling to breath and we’ve done all we can.
In our eyes you see defeat,
Defeat when we are told we are short staffed,
Defeat when we cannot comfort you, hug you,
Defeat when we see your eyes are now shut forever,
Defeat when we have to call your family to inform them that you will not be coming home.
Then from our eyes you see tears,
Tears because we are human,
Tears because we have feelings,
Tears because we could not give you as much attention as we should have,
Tears because we blame ourselves,
Tears because we can no longer see,
In your eyes.
I am a registered nurse in the small town of Porterville California.
I was inspired to write a poem after listening to a couple poets present for my daughter’s class on zoom.
Working with COVID patients is extremely stressful and emotional. Often times we hide those emotions and this was the perfect way to express some of those feelings.