Poem pays tribute to health workers

June 04 2020
Poem pays tribute to health workers

FORMER nurse Ruth Vicary, who was 96 on May 7, has shared a poem she has written to honour today’s healthcare workers.

Born in 1924, Wells resident Ruth celebrated her 96th birthday the day before the nation celebrated VE Day. Such celebrations during a time when people face modern day lockdown due to the current coronavirus pandemic brings back many memories for Ruth.

As a young woman she trained as a nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, and was nursing injured soldiers towards the end of the Second World War.

The youngest of six children, Ruth was one of many medical professionals in her family; her uncle was a surgeon, two of her sisters were doctors and her brother was a surgeon who worked out in the desert during the war.

A favourite tale of hers is that she once nursed an injured soldier who had returned from fighting abroad and she realised her brother’s signature was one of several on the soldier’s leg cast.

Ruth has fond memories of working as a nurse but also, much insight as to how hard it can sometimes be to work in healthcare, trying to meet the needs of patients.

As well as her work as a nurse and bringing up their four children, she and her late husband the Rev Canon Douglas Vicary – Canon Residentiary and Precentor of Wells Cathedral from 1975 to 1988 – were active members in the communities they lived in, not least Wells where Ruth has now lived for many years.

She has always enjoyed reading literature and poetry and has written stories and poetry in former years. She wrote the poem reproduced on the right a few years ago, along with two others entitled The Waiting Room and The Consultation, whilst sitting as a patient waiting in the waiting room at Wells City Practice.

“It particularly touched doctors and staff at the surgery at the time and seems very poignant and even more relevant during the current pandemic,” said Dr Ruth Donlevy, GP Partner at Wells City Practice.

“Ruth was delighted to be asked if her poem could be enjoyed by others in Wells by featuring it in Wells Voice.”

To all healthcare workers; a Poem by Ruth Vicary

Don’t think
I don’t know
How it is for you
Who hold 
In your hand
So many 
lives. And
Any grain
Of sand
Deserves no
Particular
Regard and
Expects none
Yet never
Have I gone
from you 
Uncomforted
You know 
me and
Your hand
which reaches
me among
The dark sea
Tangled beaches
Holds me
Love reaches
me and
There is light