Classical greatness


It has the strength of water bursting from a dam,
That weary smile of victory in the ER,
When the ward empties itself of the tide
And a nurse pauses to remember the face
Of someone who survived and thanked her.
Our times’ inclination is that of
Mass romanticism, from up on down,
Which rejects classical forms, of decency,
Of responsibility, and prudence.
And yet we refused to be thus inclined to smallness,
As we put on our gowns and masks,
And declined again when we rushed
To the exposed and the sick.
The world isn’t new to us, it always required
A decision of who might live, and yet
Offered that choice, we choose the pain of choosing.

Image credit : the British Red Cross


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