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The Fight

A woman who works for Médecins Sans Frontières
tells me how she and others battle on
despite the constant setbacks.

She says it can take a day sometimes
to travel twenty miles, on sand or mud.

They know supplies may not arrive on time
but every moment's precious
such are patients' needs.

She says that people die quite often
after treating them for weeks or months
as if such tragedies came with the job.

So these heroes struggle on, despite the danger
from terrorists or robbers, despite the heat
or the threat of falling sick themselves.

They know the problems they face are overwhelming
and may get worse with over-population,
but perhaps they realise too
that all anyone can do
against such odds is fight, yes,
fight the good fight.

Editing stage: 


for commenting. I was beginning to think I wouldn't get any feedback on this one. I agree with you about the "thats". I only left them in because I thought the rhythm sounded better, but I usually try to avoid any unnecessary words, and these two are clearly not necessary. I'm very glad you liked this poem.
Best wishes,

author comment

This reads as a story of the struggle that these wonderful people have.
Now it needs to be brought to life amongst all the death, give each Stanza a rhythm, let the feelings come out of either party to add to it to what I call being a poem.
Hang on there wont be long.., I will come back to this one if time permits,
Yours Ian.T.

Here I have played:-
Medicines’ Sans Frontiers’

She walks as Florence Nightingale
Constant battles with undue setbacks
Taking days for the simplest tasks
Time wasted in travel over hostile ground

Mud sand and just no roads the enemy
Supplies not arriving when they should
Precious moments wasted as patients need.
Time is held in others arms, sickness in hers

She walks within deaths silent gasp
Weeks of treating snatched away in a moment
Often in the final peace they drift away.
Months of caring given to an lifeless end.

Her work with such tragedies comes with the job.
She is a hero struggle on, despite the danger
Terrorists or robbers, held at a distance,
despite the heat or falling sick, she carries on.

Problems faced though they may overwhelm most
Population’s growth will bring more misery
This they realise, though none can beat the odds.
To fight on, is another day of being, to this Angel.

One of my friends his Daughter came back from Africa after contracting Aids working in a maternity ward, the medicine was not as good as now and they had to see her pass away as they did in the earlier days of the illness,
Also my Brother in law worked for the Red cross throughout Europe during the Bosnia and other conflicts, they are "Earth Angels" both are with their perception of God now.

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

This is a very moving version of the poem and I appreciate your having made the effort to write it. My only doubt is whether the clarity of the message in the original version may have been lost in the process of making the poem more overtly poetic. Sometimes I think content may be more important than form, although I would obviously like to combine the two in a better way. I'll certainly go back to the drawing board on this one. Many thanks.
Best wishes,

author comment

Integrate the two pieces and make a beaut piece of in-between writing.
Your original is to factual mine is to poetic in that middle ground is a wonderful tribute to such people..
Yours Ian.T

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

I'll try to follow up this suggestion.

author comment

(which is one of the definitions of poetry) that presents a complex and tragic situation without recourse to sentimentality.

Your style of 'pragmatic', often seemingly un-prosodic, poetry is rapidly growing on me. I hope you don't mind if I try to emulate these qualities in some of my own work.

My only problem is the last line. A terrible cliche. Perhaps a little paraphrasing of the Hippocratic Oath-
To do good what good I can
and above all,
no harm.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

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