I Am A Key Worker

We’ve been shouting to be heard
simply asking for rights, for respect,
begging to be seen as human.
I wanted to be noticed,
fought to be noticed,
protested to be noticed.
But now, our society feels threatened,
you look to me for purpose,
you look to me to save this.
You turn to me.

Every Thursday, you clap for the NHS and key workers,
cyclical, like a ritual.
And it’s a cycle always,
things come back again,
seasonal and maybe I’m being unreasonable,
to think things could have changed,
because society voted the Tories in, yet again.
Why did it take a pandemic
for you to really see me?
Why did a virus have to shake the earth
for you to see my vitality?
For you to see me as key?
I am a key worker.

We made an agreement,
with our government,
an agreement with society,
but never asked for it writing.
We agreed that putting your life on the line,
to save someone else’s lifeline,
to keep their heart beating just fine,
demanded respect.
We made an agreement,
but never asked for it in writing,
it was a verbal contract,
a well understood fact.
And I never thought the government would take back
all the words said,
never thought they’d lose those hospital beds,
didn’t think they’d gamble with people for profits instead.
So now we:
clap for the NHS,
praise the NHS,
thank the NHS.
But you never voted for the NHS,
never stood your ground for the NHS.

And people keeping saying
that they’ve stopped hearing the sirens
but the cries haven’t stopped,
I know the pain will never stop.
The NHS is pressed
no time, no money, no staff.
You might have stopped hearing the sirens,
but the calls haven’t stopped
and will not stop.
Amongst all this chaos, 999 is still working,
other people are still hurting.

The year is 2020
and we’ve all been saying
2020 vision: the year of clarity.
But I think it’s the year of irregularity,
coronavirus has highlighted disparity,
distorted our perceived reality,
shown us the global similarities in humanity.
Because every day,
I see the world in seconds
flashing right before my eyes,
watching that death toll rise, multiply,
as another innocent life lays rest.
Short, simple glimmers,
fragments of the day.
Daybreaks where night rests heavy.
Every day I see the world,
it’s continent and it’s seas
in seconds.

So, if 2020 is your year of clarity,
let this fact remain clear,
all key workers are heroes, saviours,
and imagine where we would be if they weren’t

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s