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Reflections on the flu season

Photo Credit: Steven Depolo-www.flickr.com

 Today I visited one of the Internal Medicine wards at Meir Hospital. The rooms were full. The corridors were full with seriously ill patients, in some instances surrounded by makeshift curtains.


It's flu season in Israel.

The elderly suffer the most.

Who are these elderly

Lying in their makeshift beds?


The tattered remnant.

Survivors of the Holocaust.

They came to find refuge

But were forced to fight wars.


"What's your profession?"

I inquired of one.

"A shoemaker," he replied,

" In the camps, I worked with leather."


Through the curtains

The wrinkled, tired, flesh.

The hacking coughs

The very soft groans.


Trained in childhood

To suffer in silence,

They don't complain

And they don't shout out.


"From the ship

they sent us to the front

some got guns, some uniforms,

there weren't enough to get both".


"1951, and discharge from Zahal.

No medals, no benefits, no job.

We were survivors

And we survived".


You pass the beds and

Forlorn eyes watch you pass.

Your white coat, the symbol

Of their despair.


The poem was written in winter 2002, in Kfar Saba.

 

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Wednesday, 20 October 2021

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