Personal Bubble, a poem by Tanasha Martin
Born of love, raised in the streets,
Commitment to school confirms:
Young woman, full, bright future.
Her mother struck down by germs.
Microbial moves that stalk
Her hands, surfaces and crowds;
Washing cannot cleanse the fear,
Hidden war within the shroud.
Its method, prey on the weak
Contaminate, its attack
Knowledge and strategy armed
Her only plan to fight back
Graduate degree, honors.
Off to change, no save, the world.
“Weight of our lives upon her”.
Leader for all world missions,
The accolades of success.
Too many compromises,
All in the name of progress.
Initially, they seem small;
Numbers tweaked, results are faked.
Gradually grow, cure’s announced
Not yet ready, lives at stake
“Doctor Conrad, take a look
The prevalence took a turn”
The compromised, too far gone,
Containment our chief concern.
Suit of yellow, crown to toe.
Respiration behind screens.
Protection Level C show,
The pathogen sets the scene.
Meetings whisper ‘pandemic’.
Research findings, plays to move,
My knights manipulate truth.
We, the guilty to reprove.
The opponent all around:
Strains envisioned and exist;
Invade my suit, dreams and life.
No logic or reason resist.
In the clean room of the lab,
Air feels thick, live, infected,
Leaves me frozen, petrified.
Outside the world, hazardous.
Ambush laid, streets overrun.
Transmissions to overcome.
The masses have gone viral,
The pawns connect and embrace;
They all touch and kiss and share,
Violate personal space.
Welcoming every disease
That crawl on every surface,
Float unchecked on every sneeze.
Awake to futility?
That unassailable foe?
Failed antibiotics as
Deadly bacteria grow?
Sequestered, I can focus
Return to my vocation
But find myself surrounded
By a strange aberration
It pulls from deep within me
This fear that consumes my chest
Emerges, lifts and surrounds,
My own terror manifest.
A spherical encasement;
Iridescent, thin and clear.
Swirls blue and green, no escape,
Shielded from the atmosphere.
For a moment, burden lifts,
I marvel the formation:
My secure, private bubble,
I test the permutation.
All around me, mystified,
Desperately cursed in their fate.
Sounds around heighten and fade,
The adversary’s checkmate.
At the peak of the outbreak,
The ‘Master’, top of my field.
I’m paralyzed to save lives,
Leaving all of our fates sealed.
Existing inside my space,
Mourning, numb within the wall.
No purpose, no hope, endgame,
Watch the last around me fall.
Copyright © 2016 by Tanasha Martin
Image is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Tanasha is a Member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
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