These children are true warriors

These children are true warriors

Dina Beck
ALEH Volunteer
ALEH Jerusalem 2012-2013

This is the place
That children come to when
There is no other choice.
Where the air is perfumed
With disinfectant.
Where their gruel will consist
Of little bags that whirr and go
Drippity drip.
And their neighbor is struggling to breathe.
Hardly a vacation.
Where the doors are held open
By oxygen canisters.
And just as important as the outlets,
Are the oxygen plugs beside them.
Many of these special children
Will never be able to wear necklaces
Because of the scars at their necks
From the tubes
That were their only chance of survival.
These children are true warriors.
Fighting for things we take for granted-
Steps in development,
The ability to make choices,
And for many of them, air.
And they are sentinels
At their post of courage.
For, their grit comes through
As they continuously win
The Battle of the Smile.
These warriors have perfected
The Art of Deep Belly Laughs
And they smile at you
Through the plastic of the nebulizer.
The little girl I’m saying Shema with
Holds tightly to my hand.
For the last time, the nurse says
“It’s time”.
But goodbye will never suffice
I will never be able to forget working with
These gifts that are wrapped in a different way.
I must continue to take heart.
For, if these young warriors can do it
So can I.
So can I.

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