Poem: A blessing for the one in the scrubs

Distraught nurse takes break during COVID shift stock photo

May you know that you are loved.

Image: © 2020 SDI Productions/iStock

© 2020 SDI Productions/iStock


You, the one in the scrubs,
The one breathing in a mask meant for a moment but kept all day,
Guarding gloves like gold.

You, the one who peels off your clothes like onion skin at the end of your shift
To keep your house safe from microscopic hitchhikers,
To keep your home a sanctuary.

You, essential one,
Caretaker of our community;
Self-isolating, sanity-doubting, hand-scrubbing,
angry and hungry, giddy and tired,
helpful and hopeful and scared, all in a whirl.

This blessing is meant for you.
It’s a hard-won blessing,
An awkward offering of our very real hearts,
A tumbling gratitude that bursts from our balconies,
scribbled in signs of thanks pressed against the hospital windows.

We are hoping you can hear us from our many separate rooms,
Calling down a blessing on your head, your hands,
into all of the alveoli in your lungs
where oxygen and pathogen might meet.

We bless your stubborn faith in life,
your willingness to walk toward trouble,
your intolerance of unnecessary death,
your impatience with our slow understanding.

We bless your families,
who keep watch over your comings and goings and hold your humanity in safekeeping.

We bless all of you, the whole of you,
from the head surgeon to the brand new nurse,
the night shift janitor and the laid-off clinic staff.

May you be safe, may you be well,
may you be healed and held as you heal and hold others.
May you know that you are loved.

Julia Hamilton published this blessing on Facebook on April 5, 2020.