Authors

  1. Pemmaraju, Naveen MD

Article Content

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Naveen Pemmaraju, MD... - Click to enlarge in new windowNaveen Pemmaraju, MD

The Quiet Guardians

Solemn is the night

 

Where blood has been spilled

 

In the streets of paralysis

 

Not in the midst of War

 

But Battle of a different Ilk

 

The silent fires

 

Never-ending, senseless crime

 

Relentless non-front-page-heroics

 

Quiet CPR compressions

 

While the rest of us sleep in our homes

 

Tucked away from the mayhem of the streets

 

The first responders' task

 

Is seldom the work of glory

 

And yet their yeomen's' work

 

Is what keeps our families safe at night

 

When a first responder dies

 

It is his or her family that now suffers

 

And the many hitherto unknown victims

 

They would have saved from harms grasp

 

I weep for the 3-year-old son who, waiting to be read to at night finds out

 

His brave father

 

Who was killed in yesterday's fire

 

I weep for the 10-year-old daughter

 

Who will never again go to the movies with her police officer mother killed in the line of duty

 

I weep for the paramedic's son who will never again play chase around the house with his father

 

I weep for the steadfast spouses of all first responders quietly wondering if their mate is going to come home tonight

 

The calling and the sacrifice

 

The acts of selfless giving

 

To all the paramedics and firefighters and police officers and other first responders who keep our families protected

 

We all owe you and your families buckets full of our heartfelt love and thanks for all you do.

 

Poetry by Cancer Caregivers

 

NAVEEN PEMMARAJU, MD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Leukemia at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. "Inspired by a recent, moving newspaper clipping I saw of a first responder who died here in town, I dedicate this poem to all of the first responders who keep us safe at night, as well as to their loving families," he said.