Resilience – A Poem

Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”. In my role as a nurse it is something that becomes a necessity in order to function well. Sometimes in our work, we are exposed to things that the general public would find quite confronting, and we are expected to continually function as strong, independent, educated men and women consistently, despite repetitive exposure to these things. And it’s not just the blood and gory bits – it’s the back stories of how they ended up in hospital today, it’s the overall impact of what this situation has become to this family, it’s losing patients and not being able to “fix” everybody, and in reality it’s sometimes really tough. Late last year I wrote this poem after a season of being completely worn out by what I was seeing. We’d lost adults, and children, I’d made mistakes that could have harmed people, I’d been exposed to violence and horror. Nursing is not just the joyful. For it is not the well that need a doctor, but the sick. But it is a role that is so filled with continual compassion and grievance for the hurting, and that is powerful. And sometimes you just have to pick yourself up and keep going. For king and country, for the sake of the wounded, for the continual joy of putting others above yourself.


Let us make the most of every opportunity. This is Resilience

To write a poem, to read a word, to take a breath, to hold in tears, to fight the war, to fight for peace,

This is Resilience.

To run real fast and walk real slow, to break the waves, to mend the gate, to open and to close, to dream sweet, to long nights awake

This is Resilience.

To sail the ship, to ride the train, to take the car, to fly the plane,

This is Resilience.

In a world where people chose to lie, it’s all for one or else I’ll die, in a world where people cannot cry, 

This is Resilience.

If I had known this all before, I might not have taken that door; I didn’t know this all before,

This is Resilience 

God above is good they say, I’ll chose to believe that today, but as for now I am afraid,

This is Resilience. 

To run the race, to solider on, to return to where is all begun,

This is Resilience.

And when I can no longer stand, for fear that weakness is at hand, I will remember this sun-scorched land, 

This is Resilience.

(2.9.16, KAW)

2 thoughts on “Resilience – A Poem

  1. Some good ideas in the poem Katie though I don’t claim to have followed all of your thought processes. Your introductory remarks are excellent, deep and persipicatious! (sp?) Love from Poppa


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