There is respect
and there is that snot 
dripping, wrist shaking,
stuttering, knees buckling, 
heart pounding, eyelid swelling, 
tears pouring, speechless
respect. The kind I have for 
health workers in Liberia. They fought
the virus when the militias fought them.
They turned up when others tuned out.

George Cassidy Payne is a poet from Rochester, NY. His work has been included in such publications as the Hazmat ReviewMoria Poetry JournalChronogram JournalAmpersand Literary ReviewThe Angle at St. John Fisher College, and 3:16 Journal. George’s blogs, essays and letters have appeared in USA TodayThe Wall Street JournalThe AtlanticHavana TimesSouth China Morning PostThe Buffalo News, and more. 

See all his poems on Tea House here.

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