Personal Bubble
A poem by Tanasha Martin
You dedicate your life to the mission of saving the human race. What if the thing you are saving them from is the very thing you fear the most?

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

Academic scholarship,
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,
Sterilization aside;
Air feels thick, live, infected,
Leaves me frozen, petrified.
Outside the world, hazardous.
Ambush laid, streets overrun.
Microorganisms lurk,
Transmissions to overcome.

The masses have gone viral,
The pawns connect and embrace;
They all touch and kiss and share,
Violate personal space.

Immunosuppressants tread,
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.

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Copyright 2016 Tanasha Martin

Tanasha MartinTanasha Martin has written poetry from a very young age and wrote her first short story, which won top pick for a creative writing competition, in 1990. She first participated in NaNoWriMo in November 2015, drafting her first Young Adult Science Fiction novel. Since then, she has been writing full-time. Poetry, flash fiction, short stories, children’s books, and Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels are among her works in progress. This region features a writing community called The Writing Journey; Tanasha is the author of short stories and flash fiction works in the 2016 anthologies 12 and 13 of The Writing Journey.

Tanasha is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.