Peer Review by HelpMe512 (United States)

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My Hero (please review!)

By: ava09 (sorta back)

Performance Link:

When I was asked
as a child
"Who is your hero?"
I never said my parents
"J.K. Rowling. Or Alex Morgan."
I would answer
famous author and football star
they were my world
my future
I wanted to be like them
But now
Now I understand
As amazing as those two women are
they don't go to work every day even on their off days because the ICU is short staffed and full
they don't say "baby I'm sorry I can't hug you right now" to their family because they haven't taken their scrubs off and they haven't fully sanitized yet
they haven't worked 14 hour shifts day after day after day because that's not their job
but that's my mom's job
I always thought nurses deserved more recognition
more appreciation
When my mom used to work nights my siblings and I would tip toe around the house so she could get enough sleep
Shifts always start at 6:45 pm or am
They usually end around 8:30-9:30
even though they're supposed to be 12 hours long tell me
what other occupation demands you have constant awareness and vigilance
what other occupation requires that you work on Christmas or Christmas Eve
what other occupation is so forgotten and taken for granted?
And now
now that COVID-19 has turned our world upside down and pulled the rug from under our feet
Now you care about them?
Now you appreciate them for all they do?
My mother, at work at her hospital as I write this, is putting herself at risk
Putting me and my siblings and my father and my dog at risk
to save other people?
Now you care
But not enough
Recognition is only the first step
Yes they work hard
Yes they're doing the job no one else wants to because they have no choice
Yes they go to work every day to save the lives of other people while draining the life out of themselves yes
they are the real heroes
and yes
we are doing nothing to help them
thanks doesn’t save lives
saying “thank you”
“We support you”
“You’re so brave” 
can’t create PPE and ventilators
Clapping on balconies doesn’t do anything except make you feel better that you’re at home
grateful your occupation lets you stay isolated at home where you’re supposed to be
Clapping doesn’t make you a hero too
I have never been more proud to say
"My mom is an ICU nurse" but it comes with a bitter taste in my mouth
Before it was a statement of fact but now it's like a game
I feel like I'm bragging about having a mother on the front lines when in reality I'm just so so
I'm scared she might get sick
I'm scared my whole family might
I'm scared the curve won't flatten
I'm scared the hospitals will overflow
And I'm scared to death that things will go back to normal too soon and the curve will shoot up again because we didn't wait long enough
Being scared doesn't really do much
Except make me more anxious
I think the worst bit is
I write all this down
I'm proud of my mother
I love her
I don't know what i would do if she was gone
But I don't tell her that
I'm too invested in my own self image
I am the bratty 16 year old daughter
I don't give hugs
I snap back
I argue
I yell
I am imperfect
I care so much about my mother even though I can't say it out loud
to her
I beg you
Don't do
what I did
Don't trap
yourself in meaningless stereotypes
Don't run
away from the people who love you
I wish
I could change who I was
but I can't
But I can
who I will be
And once my mother
comes home tonight
Maybe she'll be early
be home by 8 or so
and she'll take a shower
wipe her phone
throw her scrubs in the laundry
and I'll give her the biggest hug
when she's all done
because there is no one
on this earth
I'd rather be mistaken for
then my mother
is My Hero

Dedicated to my mother; an incredibly hardworking ICU nurse.
To all of you who have family members (or maybe even you yourself are) still working outside in essential jobs, whether in health care or in grocery stores, you are not alone.
We can all get through this together.

Message to Readers

Any and all feedback is welcome!

Peer Review

I really love this! It leaves me with a feeling of pride and appreciation for the front-line workers, and it also shows just how lucky some people have it to not have to go to work. It gives me a greater sense of awareness for these heroes!

I feel like this poem could benefit from either stanzas or punctuation. It was confusing because I didn't know where it was supposed to break. Also, the size of the lines is all over the place. I think you should do longer lines for the most part, and only short lines to really accentuate emotions.

I loved the lines "Because there is no one/ on this earth/ that I's rather be mistaken for/ than my mother". It just is great way to show your love and appreciation for your mom.

I think this is an amazing poem! I love how much you appreciate your mom; it really warms my heart. Awesome work!

Reviewer Comments

Tell your mom thank you for me, and I hope you all stay safe!