Donations are essential to keep Write Out Loud going    

Renee By A Thread

Audio reading:


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...



coronaviruscovidcovid19deathHealthHealthcarehospitalhospitalskey workerlockdownWOLBeyondTheStorm

◄ High Tide, Low Life

Ocean's Roar ►


Profile image


Tue 8th Dec 2020 16:29

Very powerful and it feels very real too in these strange days...Thank you for sharing too!

Profile image


Thu 14th May 2020 16:04

I did some audio for this one. Feel free to have a listen:

Profile image


Thu 7th May 2020 23:03

Brian, it feels so good to reach you with this one. Thank you!

Don, for Renee's sake, you'll be pleased to hear she's a figment of my imagination. The name (and title as a whole) just popped into my head on Monday night when I was out walking. I had absolutely no idea what it was going to be about until I put pen to paper - but I knew there was a poem buried beneath that title.

Jordyn, thank you so much ? Moving someone is the ultimate prize for a writer, in my opinion. I'm so pleased it worked for you.

Profile image

Don Matthews

Wed 6th May 2020 09:22

Tear-ups are interesting Jordyn
With you it is hard, not with me
It must be to do with emotion states
Each person tears differently....

Profile image

Jordyn Elizabeth

Wed 6th May 2020 01:32

Wow. This was really good. Although you made me tear up (which is hard to do). Well done!


Profile image

Don Matthews

Wed 6th May 2020 00:49

Yes Tom, I usually don't like long poems but this well-crafted one held me to the end. It was so good. The repeating 'hung by a thread and leaving soon' was also used to good effect......

Was Renee someone you know or a made-up name?

<Deleted User> (18980)

Tue 5th May 2020 17:15

Well Tom I was following it as if I was that person at the bedside, willing the patient on.

Not the sort of thing I'd generally be attracted to, but this hit the spot for me.

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message