Persuaded by my wife to return to our
marital bed so she does not have to get
up every two hours to monitor
my struggle for every breath and let

her see the progress of my virus symptoms.
As I try to sleep on my front or side,
as I have read it opens up the lungs,
I begin to cough up more phlegm, decide

I must rise, retch it down the toilet bowl.
At sink, red-faced with sweat, I can’t walk back
to bed so crawl along the landing and fall
down. My wife lobs me on the bed, contacts

emergency services who wheel me
out and quick through to Barnsley A and E.

Image credit:Adrian Swancar

Paul Brookes is a shop asst. Lives in a cat house full of teddy bears. First play performed at The Gulbenkian Theatre, Hull.  His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Please Take Change (, 2018), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). He is a contributing writer of Literati Magazine and Editor of Wombwell Rainbow Interviews, book reviews and  challenges. Had work broadcast on BBC Radio 3 The Verb and, videos of his Self Isolation sonnet sequence featured by Barnsley Museums and Hear My Voice Barnsley. He also does photography commissions. Most recent is a poetry collaboration with artworker Jane Cornwell: "Wonderland in Alice, plus other ways of seeing", (JCStudio Press, 2021) , sonnet collections: "As Folktaleteller",( ImpSpired, 2022), forthcoming "These Random Acts of Wildness, (Glass Head Press, 2022)


Web sites:

Twitter: @PaulDragonwolf1