These are the hands

By Michael Rosen

These are the hands
That touch us first
Feel your head
Find the pulse
And make your bed.
These are the hands
That tap your back
Test the skin
Hold your arm
Wheel the bin
Change the bulb
Fix the drip
Pour the jug
Replace your hip.

These are the hands
That fill the bath
Mop the floor
Flick the switch
Soothe the sore
Burn the swabs
Give us a jab
Throw out sharps
Design the lab.

And these are the hands
That stop the leaks
Empty the pan
Wipe the pipes
Carry the can
Clamp the veins
Make the cast
Log the dose
And touch us last.

Michael Rosen is a poet and author of many children’s books including “We’re going on a bear hunt” which some parents may be familiar with. He is currently recovering from seven weeks in intensive care with multi-organ failure as a result of Covid 19 infection. He wrote the poem in 2008 celebrating the NHS on the 60th anniversary of its formation and we think that it translates well as a salute to all front-line workers.

Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine