“give until it hurts”
has been her mantra at work–
hurting numbs the pain

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

“The pandemic has taught me a lot about the cost of my own sacrifices,” she said. This woman was a hospitalist who worked on the front lines during the COVID-19 surge in Boston. “I have a mantra at work: ‘give until it hurts.’ I believe I’m here to give of myself through acts of service,” she said. She also expressed this was how she viewed her relationships with her four children and her spouse. The pandemic had been an incredibly stressful time at home. After the surge got under control, she was spending more time at home than ever before. “I was suddenly trapped in my house and I didn’t realize the extent that traveling had been a solace for me; a way to escape and have my own downtime. Now I was forced to come face-to-face with my kids and my spouse. Everything became so concentrated, and I came head-to-head in all of my personal relationships,” she said. She was wrestling with many questions related to her identity, including, “Who am I in all of this?”

Interviewee: Anonymous
Listener Poet: Jenny Hegland

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