Barbara Cadogan

Guatemala Mission 2004

I am a Registered Nurse, and first started to write poetry when I was about 18 years old. I have written several poems on a variety of subjects, and enjoy poems that are light and filled with humor. I feel that a good poem like a painting, is able to evoke a variety of emotions, whether sad or chee…

Now listen to the story of our mission for the poor
Led by a man called Dr. Alan Lefor.
There were doctors and nurses, and helpers galore,
We went on this mission to care for the poor.

There's Olivia Marroquin, whom we all adore,
She ran the busy section that we called OR
An angel of mercy right through to the core,
She gives of herself, and so much more.

And Anne Rosenblatt had divvied up her team
In shifts to recover those, who left the OR scene.
Around the clock they worked, through every moan and scream,
And pushed MS and Fentanyl, til the medication box was clean.

Then Sylvia Estrada, who opened the clinic door,
Seeing case after case, by the dozens and the score.
She gave it her all, and a little bit more,
She's the pro in this area, she's done it before!

Grace Cheng has ruled the galley with her military stick.
Soap, rinse, and dip, or you surely will be sick.
You don't eat in here til you've mastered the routine,
So you'd better do it right, or she won't let you dine.

Jackie with her helpers, have often saved the day.
We couldn't do without her, she's calm in every way.
With her dedicated helpers to serve in any way,
And just to think they did this, without any pay.

The Magivers were Bernie, Preston, and Don,
A team that we depended so much upon.
With their tools they would fix it, as fast as they could,
No mission would work without them, they were simply very good.

Our team of translators, we know who you are.
When we Anglos were confounded, you were our guiding star.
Be it for the meaning of "pastille para delor,"
Or simply a request to "sientese por favor."

Our MDs worked so hard to fix those body parts,
The gift of better health would be their piece of art,
The hernias and cleft palates, too many, sad but true,
With such a dedicated team, those kids are good as new.

And Bob, our pharmacist, deserves " mucho" hugs,
He kept us in stock with necessary drugs
To lessen their pain, and from infection refrain,
If we have another mission, we hope he's there again.

And now we have packed up, and are ready to go home,
With stories to be told, to those who could not come.
We're saddened by their plight, but we won't give up the fight,
We'll all be back next year, on a mission that is right.

Barbara A. Cadogan © 2004