For this project, we were assigned the task of answering the question, “How can poetry uplift a community?”. With all that is going on in the world right now, Ella and I felt that one of the best ways to answer this question was to uplift the people who are spending countless hours uplifting others themselves: the front line health care workers. We decided to put together care packages with granola bars, treats, water bottles, fruit and poems written by us. We wanted these amazing human beings to feel that they are seen and that their efforts and sacrifices made are not going unnoticed. Below, you can find both Ella and my poems as well as a short clip that documents our journey in creating these care packages. Even though we are not able to help in a medical capacity during this virus, our hearts were made happy to see the joy these packages brought to the front line health care workers. Because of this experience, we encourage others to do the same – to whatever capacity you are capable of!
By Kelsey Stewart
I don’t know where I am
Or how I came to be
Stuck and scared on this island
Where no one can hear me
As they do in movies
The hero hears my call
Their ships arrive on shore
And into their arms I fall
I am both weak and tired
I know they feel the same
But these heroes put me first
I am so glad they came
They saved not only me
But many others too
We were all stuck on this island
With faint hope to pursue
The heroes save our lives
Not a day do they miss
They give up the ability
To give their own a kiss
The rays of sun have burned
Their faces scorched and sore
Away from the ones they love
To search and save more
We see the fight they have
And the pain they have been through
We want them to know they are seen
That we are grateful for all they do
We thank them for their time
The sacrifices made
To save us from this island
Our gratitude shall never fade
Together, We Heal
By Ella Gaspar
In a mournful world
individuals will remember
the quiet streets, empty shops
abandoned schools and cancelled flights
as the world plunges into chaos
every death deepening the curve
news spreads like wildfire
the impending threat of the future
falling into isolation and consistent reminders
of social distancing; a new friend.
and as society struggles to adapt
we take comfort in each other
finding solace in the wake of the pandemic.
Together, we begin to heal
and recognize the heroics of frontline workers
who allow us to live in safety and in prayer,
for the old, the sick, the vulnerable
that they take in their trusting arms.
We support them, we thank them
for giving our community endless hope
and security in times of helplessness.
For them, we bang our pots and pans
in acknowledgement of the risks they take every day,
caring for the sick in hospitals
with kind smiles and comforting words
that make us all feel brave.
We are there for them
as they have always been for us.
They have done their part
Now, let us do ours.
For the final component of our project, Ella and I decided to put together a short video of our friends and family members reading a poem that we selected. We ultimately chose “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers”, a poem by Emily Dickinson. The idea behind this project was what better way to show unity during a pandemic than having a video of all different types of people, from far and wide, preaching the same message – to have hope. Although not many people may view this video, Ella and I loved the idea of getting our family and friends involved and spending time together to work on the project. It allowed us to reach out to those who we might not otherwise chat with on a daily basis and remind them also to have hope. This project inspired us to listen to the words of the poem and to remember that we are all going through this together.