1. Green, Cheryl

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This poem was inspired by nurses who often, in silence, mourn the death of their patients. The unspoken emotional pain can take a toll, as nurses must move forward in the care of others with minimal time to mourn, and caretaking begins again. The fragility of life is what nurses witness daily.

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A 12-hour shift completed.


The struggle to stay awake.


The long drive home.


Tears form a small pool in the eyes


and are quickly wiped away.


Visions of a patient who was alive


just hours before.


The arrival home.


A shower in silence as emotional and


physical exhaustion of the day emerges.


A deep sigh with more tears.


Life is fragile. This reality of moments in time


gives honor to patients lost and


tribute to the nurses that care for them.