The Testing Man

The testing man is tested too.
In fact, he’s tested everyday.
He handles samples all day long.
The samples come from everywhere.
The city, suburbs, distant towns.
They come as swabs in test tubes sealed.
Of course, he must be tested too.
You wouldn’t want him breathing near
The samples in the test tubes sealed
If there’s a chance he’s positive.

The testing man is tested too.
He doesn’t mind the daily swab.
He minds the testing of his mind.
He cannot take a morning off.
He cannot meet his family.
He cannot venture from his lab.
He cannot order favourite foods.
He cannot chill the Netflix out.
And yet he has to show up sharp.
He handles futures all day long.
A plus or minus from his hand
Determines quarantines or flights.

The testing man is tested too.
He doesn’t mind the daily swab.
He minds the testing of his soul.
He gets ‘requests’ from higher-ups.
He gets ‘requests’ from policemen.
He gets ‘requests’ from distant friends.
He gets ‘requests’ from family.
To call a sample negative.
To certify it urgently.
The testing man keeps nodding on.
The testing man feels overlooked.
He feels nobody sees his worth:
The courage of the testing man.
The patience of the testing man.
The wisdom of the testing man.

So, would you blame the testing man,
Who, feeling no one gives a damn,
Decides to use a pack of cards
To judge the future of some swabs?
A plus is red. A minus black.

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