he could see the nurses moving round
as they fussed about his bed
he could hear each word they spoke of him
as if he was already dead
and yet they knew he was alive
or why would he still be there
he’d already be burnt to ash and dust
and been stuck on a mantle somewhere.
it was odd the way that it started
he was walking home from work one day
his legs just started to feel very strange
then he collapsed as they both fell away.
he was rushed to the emergency hospital
where his condition had got better each day
but suddenly he went into a spasm
that ended with him lying here today.
locked-in syndrome he heard one doctor
say to a colleague talking over his bed
and while they were wondering about him
he silently screamed in his head.
all the things they were saying were scaring
and he couldn’t tell them what he knew
he felt lost and alone and so frightened
but about it there was nothing he could do.
he’s been lying like that for six months now
they’ve assisted his breathing as well
but they don’t chat as if he’s not there though
and to him that now feels worse than hell.
he stopped breathing
they started his breathing this morning
but they’re worried that he’s getting frail
and inside his head he’s still screaming
and weeping though no-one can tell.
©Joe Wilson – Locked-in here 2014