Heroes Among Us – Poem by Ms Courtney Wallace

Friday 12 February 2021: As the Covid-19 pandemic continues across the globe, many have felt its devastating effects over the last year. Staff of the Wynberg Campus of Schools lined up, socially distanced, to create the word “Wynberg” and used their own pooled and recycled resources to form a large red cross and the words “Thank You” on WBJS’ sports field. WBHS English Teacher, Ms Courtney Wallace penned and read a poem at the event:

Heroes Among Us

We stand here today where looking back, everything seems different and looking forward, we know nothing will ever be the same.

We stand here today in a world where loss seems to have triumphed over gain.

We stand here today to not only remember those heroes who have left but also to celebrate those who walk with us, step after step.

For so long, we’ve tried to find heroes in Marvel and DC but we’ve found them here living amongst you and amongst me.

They have donned their capes and their n95 masks and have bravely stood at the fore. And because of them, fighting this enemy has felt less like a war.

For us.

Because, as we ran for our safety and sat in wait for the decline, they stayed outside, with “first, do no harm” and Hippocrates on the mind. They stayed behind. They fought the enemy: yours, theirs and mine. They laid their safety aside and laid their lives on the line.

For us. And ours.

And as we stayed inside and tried to do our part, they cast fear aside and kept beats in our hearts.

Frontline workers, Thank you. Thank you. Thank…queues and queues of people who flocked from our homes to yours. You made room; you found ways, so that they weren’t alone. We were at home and you – alone in their fight. Adjacent to beds when we weren’t there in sight. You squeezed hands; you wiped brows; you sat with them in prayer. You were the link between God, home and their ear.

You were there. You threw blood, sweat and tears into saving our loved ones and quelling our fears.

You were the fluids, the blood, the tubes and the air. You were life; you became machines. We cracked; we crumbled; we broke at the seams, yet you stood firm and continued to believe. With everything topsy and turvy and strange, you never stopped trying, fighting, pushing – you remained.

For sure, the mountain is still difficult to climb. We are not over that hill. Covid is not yet behind..but though the future is still murky and the past still filled with grief, we can focus less on loss and more on belief. We can because of our heroes; our frontline; because of you.

We stand here today in honour of you – in the labs, in the wards, in the clinics and ICUs –

I see you.

We see you.

“Heroes Among Us” Copyright © 2021 Courtney Wallace. All Rights Reserved.

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