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Training During the Plague

Training During the Plague

If you had told me thirty years ago,
when I took call on endless sleepless nights
on incandescent AIDS wards full of fear
on which I tried to do the healing work
of drawing blood and packing leaking wounds
and viewing films of microbes gone berserk
in lungs and brains of patients wasted frail
to postpone certain death from HIV,
if you had told me then that I would see
a family with an AIDS tale just as bad—
today, two parents with disease but well,
their uncontaminated child, alive–
my doubt would equal that of Didymus
who disbelieved the Resurrection tale.
Like he who needed proof with sight and touch,
I’d need this scene to change my mind as much.