As morning breaks, the nightmare sign:
the arching of the baby’s spine;
the blue-tinged lips; the pallid face;
the chill of fear; the rush and race.
The silence in the hospital.
The nurse alert, the doctor still.
The lumbar tap; disease is strong;
the child is weak; the odds are long.
There is no antidote to quell
the virus’s invasive swell.
The X-ray; penicillin; tube;
and sterile incubator cube.
The pathos of an infant placed
in isolation, and encased.
The crisis at its height. His form
convulsing in the viral storm.
The vigil throughout night and day
before the small shape, screened away.
The hands unable to caress
the infant in his loneliness.
As long hours pass, the growth of hope
strengthened by love, its isotope.
The lungs will fill; the heart will beat;
tomorrow shall bring death’s retreat.
The storm subsides; the air grows calm.
The infant stretches, free from harm.
Kind hands now lift him from his cell.
We thank the Lord: the child is well.
– David Morphet 2002