“Renee By A Thread” by Tom Alexander.

Down the corridor, comes a scream
Was it physical pain
or the horror of finally learning
the way this game is turning
They took your clothes
gave you a gown
there was nothing to do but lay right down
Now, the machine breathes
for you
hung by a thread and leaving soon

Faint flashes behind tired eyelids
recalled moments from a busy life;
the night before your wedding
barefoot kisses by the Seine
The tentative first steps of Child Two
A shaking hand, a ‘thank you’ card
from the family of one you saved
Now, the machine breathes
for you
hung by a thread and leaving soon

The ache, it came and spread like water
the fever burned, the cough, it worsened
they hooked you up, you knew the drill
the butterfly, the slow sure drip
and then it seemed to ease a while
The bed you took, brought guilt at first
your hands no longer helping
Then suddenly; your quick decline
Now, the machine breathes
for you
hung by a thread and leaving soon

There’s a feeling in your chest
and that sixth-sense you sometimes get
the dawn tomorrow, you will not witness
Nurses come, their voices hushed
gloved hands hold, always too briefly
you don’t like the letting go
The room is quiet but for the wheeze
as the machine breathes
for you
hung by a thread and leaving soon

In the chair beside you, that loving face
waiting at end of every nightshift
You know that he will raise them right
Ah, but which patient was it
which desperate hand you gently held
which reassuring words you shared
with no fresh mask to wear
Now, the machine breathes
for you
hung by a thread and leaving soon

The family grieves
a nation grieves
for you
needlessly soon…

To check out more of Tom’s work, go here.

19 responses to ““Renee By A Thread” by Tom Alexander.”

  1. I was holding my breath as I read this and experiencing again my brother’s passing as we all watched the machine breathe for him and we all breathed for him in turn.
    Powerful words.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Thanks, I did see you mention it in another comment actually and was planning to listen to it. I’ve just listened, that was interesting! Did you record it in a hospital? It sounds like somebody reading it out quietly in the middle of a ward, reading it out next to a relative.

        Though I guess you just downloaded a stock audio track or something?

        It was also interesting because a few months ago I had the idea to start recording myself reading some of my poems— possibly as a podcast. I got hold of my good microphone again and painstakingly set it up to sound good. That’s really encouraged me!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks Robin. I just assembled a variety of audio samples to give it a bit of content. I wanted it to sound a relative speaking to another about what had happened. Was quite pleased at home it came out. Yes, I think a poetry Podcast could be really interesting. I’d certainly check it out. Go for it!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Cool! It did come across with pretty much the intended effect then, good job.

        And thanks! I’ll let you know if I manage to start the Podcast!

        Liked by 2 people

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