standard intensive care unit (ICU) within a hospital courtesy of Norbert Kaiser under CC BY-SA 2.5 license

“The coronavirus pandemic is a world-changing event, like 9/11. There was a world before Covid-19. And there will be a world after Covid-19. But it won’t be the same.” Oliver Markus Malloy, What Fox News Doesn’t Want You To Know

They’re heroes, you know, real heroes
Not the ones in capes and caps, No!
The ones in scrubs, masks, nursing clogs
Daily on extended shifts, exhausted
As fate would have it, often succumbing
And when not, still the concerns for
Possible transmission to family, to friends
To strangers along their commute, and
“I worry for my parents,” says one
On his steadfast mission, another
Fears for her unborn child, six months
pregnant, with rounded tummy she works
For her patients, for colleagues, for the
Greater good, while a president sets
A precedent for lies, misinformation,
Stupidity, cruelty, self-absorption in the
Face of a nation in need of solidarity,
A peoples at risk, a worldwide community
In want of coordination and collaboration
They put him to shame, the heroes of
The pandemic, honoring their trust,
Donning their scrubs, masks, nursing clogs
Daily on extended shifts, committed
Compassionate, self-sacrificing, latter-day
Heroes of the human condition, heroes of
A world that will never be the same

© 2020, Jamie Dedes

Dedicated to all medical workers but especially to my own critical care and palliative care teams. 


This week, let us honor the heroes of the pandemic catastrophe. I have chosen to write a poem in gratitude for healthcare workers, but there are other heroes: the garbage collectors, the postal workers, the store clerks, the police and firefighters and first responders, the Meals-on-Wheels teams, and all the people who are sheltering in place. Which latter-day heroes do you want to honor? All are worthy. Let us know in your poem/s and . . .

  • please submit your poem/s by pasting them into the comments section and not by sharing a link
  • please submit poems only, no photos, illustrations, essays, stories, or other prose


Poems submitted on theme in the comments section here will be published in next Tuesday’s collection. Poems submitted through email or Facebook will not be published. If you are new to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, be sure to include a link to your website, blog, and/or Amazon page to be published along with your poem. Thank you!

Deadline:  Monday, March 30 by 8 pm Pacific Time. If you are unsure when that would be in your time zone, check The Time Zone Converter.

Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, showcasing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you.

You are welcome – encouraged – to share your poems in a language other than English but please accompany it with a translation into English.

Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!


For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton


  1. – A Simple Poem of Honor

    My Doctor

    When thoughts come, to a still.
    When the heart is overfilled,
    When the mind is not at ease,
    When you do not feel well,
    And you cannot tell,what is wrong with you?

    When there is pain
    And your head aches
    When you lie down
    With a very long face,
    When you want someone to sit near you;

    To hold your hand
    And to smile at you;
    To take away your pain,
    To make you well again;
    To bring happiness, then after, here comes, The Doctor!

    Fear goes away, and there is hope
    When you feel the stethoscope,
    So there is nothing quite wrong
    “But, here is a mixture.
    To make you strong.”

    Such politeness and care
    Is a quality so rare,
    But it is there. And I must say
    Though not from a bank
    But from the depths of my heart

    I owe, my doctor many a million thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cleaners

    are unskilled

    They wash away our dirt,

    scrub our consciences,

    cleanse the surfaces of what we do,

    clean the remnants of our days,

    polish the valuables of our streets.

    Make the stains we make spotless,

    unsoil the soiled

    unstain the stained,

    unsully the sullied,

    unblemish the blemished,

    make our world pristine, speckless,

    dirt-free, hygienic, sanitary, disinfected,

    sterilized, sterile,decontaminated, healthy

    with the correct chemicals and appropriate tools,

    deep clean the nooks and crannies of our lives.

    Still we call these heroes unskilled.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Heroic Words

    “How are you?”
    Here’s a hackneyed platitude
    sidelined like sticky bottles of
    condiments at the edges of
    booths in greasy spoons – way back in February,
    when they pulsated with patrons,
    throwaway words in the time of
    meetups and Tinder, when
    free physicality flowed
    like turbid streams
    coursing from their sources.
    Now, during the drought,
    the bromide won’t abandon its
    fair-weather friends
    as our touches and taps
    and caresses and kisses are
    evicted by locks and walls and
    worry and six feet –
    or two meters –
    of mandated
    icy space.
    “How are you?”
    A phrase as familiar
    as crammed cafés
    and yell-laden yellow schoolbuses
    and sweaty discotheques,
    a sanity-sustaining,
    semantic squeeze
    through quarantines,
    a question of connection
    and solace,
    softens the strange
    foxhole of isolation.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. S/HEROS.
    Like swat teams, they sleep on the ready,
    Never asking why or how,
    Hearts worn on the giving hands,
    The most unlikely of places you find them giving ,
    The most precarious of spaces you find their hands extended,
    Working beyond the call of duty and convenience,
    Putting one tired foot ahead of another spasming in numbness,
    Men and women life has got dependent on,
    Even as few among us ‘ only look to the self’
    Time of the double digit year that rose with a cold and runs with the heat,
    Unsung saints have crashed from the weight of humanitys needs,
    Undocumented stretches of giving and then some more,
    Going the extra mile on fumes and the indomitable spirit of humanity,
    Men and women beyond professional duties riding the waves of disastrous contacts to save a life,
    Human angels filling the emptiness of commercial shelves with basics upon a cold night,
    Medics walking on slippery quarrantine quarters to offer hope of a lone sufferer,
    What of that ambulance man who last slept last week?
    And the nurse whoses duty goes beyond administration’s of bandages into a listening and reassuring voice?
    What of the old man who goes shopping on your behalf because you can’t?
    The bedridden mum of three calling to cheer you up as your nose runs red,
    What of that ‘highway man’ without a home and now down with flu,
    His best shot would have been a blue look but for that lady berieved recently,
    Times and seasons have a rhythm and a tune all it’s it’s own,
    For the hurricane of worry that COVID 19 has thrust amidst humanity,
    One thing has come up for sure,
    Man is capable of being a human being for sure,
    Discarding old habits and biases to stand and be counted,
    To help within means and beyond those most in need,
    And as the world sighs deeply with the burden of sick and dying,
    Heros rise every day to perform tasks that make all proud,
    It’s to such deeds and acts of kindly giving,
    That tells earth is habitat of man,
    A hard-work of a loving deity,
    Once lost but now found,
    At a time when such heroism is indeed needed.
    Names may be forgotten but not the acts,
    Time will pass and this monster conquered,
    But let the lessons forever stay,
    That with love, nothing is too hard to gain,
    And that we are strongest,
    When we are a brother’s keeper.
    S/HEROS everywhere,
    May you never lack a supporting hand while you live.
    Yours too, shall be tended by the seeds you tend today.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. These Heroes

    Folk call me a hero
    as am a keyworker in a food shop.

    I am not.

    NHS staff, folk in nursing homes,
    those supplying food parcels

    to those self isolated,
    those entertaining online
    children out of school.

    These are my heroes.

    Liked by 1 person

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