I'm sharing this poem with you as part of my Christmas greeting. I am certain that you will be as moved by it as Maureen and I were. 

For all of you who celebrate Christmas, a very Merry one, and to all of you Happy Holidays and a Peace-filled New Year!!

DG Denis and Maureen Boyd


We’re This Close


I am the virus, and I mean to strike,
My sole desire to multiply and ruin,
My generations countless in a spike,
I am long lived in moments come too soon.
I will twist limbs, make muscle atrophy,
Collapse young lungs, and take away the free,
To bondage, bodies fast enslaved to me.

Take heed! For I want to be close…

I am the mother, who short days ago,
Gave birth to her, so small, so innocent,
And even as the throb of pain did slow,
I feared the village dust’s evil intent.
For I had heard the broken children cry,
Seen anguish in my sisters’ hearts, and why?
What is this thing that comes to terrify? 

Take care! I must just hold her close… 

I am the child, I yearn to sprint and play,
I dream of kicking soccer balls with friends,
Or walking to the water well one day,
But how, I ask, when suff’ring never ends?
I smell the odours pooling round the floor,
My calloused hands know sand, and mud, and more,
My ears hear laughter, running feet, a roar!

Take me! I too want to be close… 

I am the father, and pained years have watched,
And ground my teeth in anger, as my boy,
Has pulled his body, feeble knees, stone-notched,
Around my blood-red dirt- so little joy.
But I am told of doctors ‘neath a wheel,
Who unbend bone, and make new legs – they heal,
So I have carried him through miles’ ordeal.

Take heart! The sign ahead is close… 

I am Rotarian, and journeyed far,
Engaging in an N.I.D. my goal,
But never guessed that such would be the bar,
My ship would cross, had no idea the toll.
For when I placed those drops first on her tongue,
I felt my heart had broken there amoung,
The grateful faces – heard a new song sung.

Take note! A life change is so close… 

I am your God, and see all that you do,
Each day a Christmas act unfolds, your gifts
Of funds to end this polio, it’s true,
Bring light of love and hope - soon darkness lifts.
When once you serve above yourselves, a line
You trace back to the star that came to shine,
Your sacrifice for others is divine.

Take word! Rotary, you’re this close! 

Delwen Stander

December, 2013