A jab in time saves lives?

25 Jan 2021 | Poetry

When the call came, it took me by surprise
though only an hour before
I was trying to convince my worried wife.
“It will come soon”, I told her, more in
hope than in expectation.
“You always say that”, she said,
“always so positive, so bloody optimistic.”

So, when the call came I tried to
absorb the information
that might change our lives.
“A week today”, said the voice,
“you at 12.18, your wife at 12.21.
So precise, but it was one bus
that we were not going to miss.

My brain quickly does the maths.
One minute to say goodbye
to the last patient.
One minute to welcome me
and perform the task.
One minute to clear the decks
before my wife is next.

I inform my wife, clutching my phone.
“It’s Sandy from the practice,
she has got some good news.”
“You are winding me up”, she says,
“you are always winding me up.”
“No, I’m not”, I reply, “this time
it’s really genuine.”

In those six minutes, two
lives will be partially restored
not completely perhaps, but
a new freedom will be born,
a chance to get back some normality.
our flattened lives may take on
a few more hills and challenges.

I imagine the moment. A nurse
will say: “This should not hurt you”
as I hold out my left arm.
A syringe will be produced
and vaccine will pour into
my vein and a plaster will
be placed on the spot.

And in those few simple minutes
our lives will take on
a new meaning, new hope.
Who knows? That tiny jab
may save two lives.
Such a feeling of anti-climax,
but such a feeling of relief.

Written 2021