As a new day dawns and I open my eyes,

I look upon a world in painless surprise.

A smile creeps across my hopeful face

as I lie in bed, my comfy place.


A tentative move; a testing stretch but

then comes a cough and my face is etched

with pain, like a stalker in darkened streets

as I grudgingly rise to my unsteady feet.


Reaching to grab at the windowsill and

holding tight as my world starts to spill.

The roulette wheel of my head spins out,

should I call for help; should I cry or shout?


The room soon returns to a stable state and

the fireworks are gone, the pressure abates.

‘Survived again!’ I smugly smile

and yet, “I’ll give it a little while”.


By now the pain in my body has reached

a point where I’m already feeling beached

as I reach for the table and struggle with the lid

on my boxes of pills; “I tried – you know I did”.


An hour has passed and the pains have eased

though my mind is hazy and twinges still tease.

It’s time to get up now and start my day,

gently, slowly and in my own way.


If I can just get dressed, I say to myself,

try not to look like I just fell off a shelf.

Another long hour has breathlessly passed but

I’m dressed and looking presentable at last.


“I’ll just have a minute to catch my breath”,

such a simple task but it’ll soon be my death.

“A quick half-hour, I’ll just close my eyes”,

I wake an hour later with familiar surprise.


Now for the next act in the play of my life,

can I be bothered, it’s on the edge of a knife.

Waiting for the pain to stab and to punch

as the world outside is just breaking for lunch.


Time for my pills, my mid-day dose,

where’s my inhaler, I must keep it close.

Back on my feet and heading for the door,

from room to room is an exhausting chore.


Heart is racing, breath coming fast but

I’ve reached my chair, I can rest at last.

“I’ll just have half an hour, let tumult recede,

then try to do some writing or have a read”.


Another hour lost and I’m startled some more,

the doorbell is ringing, someone at the door.

I rise and head with unsteady gait

to the mirror to check my mask is straight.


A familiar voice I can hear down the hall,

the letterbox opens and I hear his sweet call.

“It’s me, Granddad!” with his usual glee,

“I’m coming!” I shout and my smile is now real.


I open the door and he runs at full pelt,

one of the many who make my heart melt.

“I’ve got some new toys Granddad, come and see!”

“Give me a chance, you’re faster than me!”


Back in the living room and gasping for air,

I need my inhaler and also my chair.

An hour of fun-filled laughter and toys,

moments so precious, of heart lifting joy.


Time to go home, “Come and see me again?”

“I will do, Granddad, I’ll see you then!”

A kiss and a hug and last wave goodbye

as he heads off home, winking his eye.


Heading for the bedroom and my evening meds,

“I’ll just have an hour and rest my legs”.

I open my eyes and it’s dark, what a shock,

with blurry eyes I search for the clock.


Three hours have passed, I must have been weary.

I’m a bit disappointed because now it is nearly

time for bed, I’d better get undressed

but I need to tidy up, the house is a mess.


Frustration is now my permanent guest,

of all those I have, it’s the one I like least.

I accede to a life I no longer control,

declining health is now taking its toll.


I get ready for bed and take off my mask,

another tiring and laborious task.

My head hits the pillow and I’m left with my dreams

Where I can run and play and live with such ease.


Dreams of a life that I’ll never reclaim,

condemned to a life of frustration and pain.

Morning arrives as I wake with new hope

that maybe today I’ll be able to cope.



Written by Darren Scanlon, 31st August 2014.

Revised 4th June 2015.

©2015 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.


12 Comments Add yours

  1. alfgarnet says:

    Dammmm it , Spot on my friend , except for the cough , you know nearly every word, action, emotion , you could. Of wrote that for me and you wouldn’t be a million miles off , so will have to say for me this your best and realy shows everything , honest and true , take care

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sevoiland says:

    I “liked” this already, but wanted to agree so much with your depiction of your life. You keep smiling – and writing. Thanks so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure and I will. Thankyou.


  3. Poli Impelli says:

    As always Darren, awesome, adorable. You made me cry… Thanks for your poetry! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank YOU, Poli, for taking the time to read it.

      Keep Smiling 😊


      Liked by 1 person

  4. Olga says:

    Declining health is starting to be a difficult part of my life also. One knee is my nemesis to photography adventures. Well-written piece that tugs at the heart. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. noelleg44 says:

    Sad, but punctuated by the visit of a beloved child, which made the day worthwhile!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s a tonic and never fails to put a smile on my face 😊


  6. doncarroll says:

    Well done darren. I can identify with many aspects of this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Don.

      This was an exercise in self indulgence, a glimpse into my world of COPD etc.

      Keep Smiling 😊



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