The transparent tube lies on the floor from the oxygen bottle to his nose,
His lungs are in deep decay, asbestos slowly killing them every day,
Years of cutting asbestos sheets sucking down a lung full with every breath,
He spits up pieces of bloodstained lung as a searing pain rips across his chest.
How he used to laugh at the younger guys, when he saw them using a mask,
They called them soft girlie boys, but they are the ones that will laugh the last,
The wheelchair has become a second skin as he slowly wheels from room to room,
He looks out over the window sill, at the world outside that he will be leaving soon.
She walks along with baby steps, slowly pushing her walking chair,
How sad her life has become, her family no longer seems to care,
She thinks to herself it could be worse, at least she has managed to stay in her house,
But God, the loneliness never seems to end, an empty life without any friends.
Why did he have to go and die first and leave her to deal with the pain and hurt,
The nurse and care come twice a week, to help her wash and bandage her feet,
Meals on wheels bring her food to microwave, a lot of the time it gets thrown away,
Watching TV until she falls asleep, every night she prays to God for her soul to keep.
They both decided when they got married to concentrate on their careers,
Now they sit out on the deckchairs, listening to the next doors kids laugh and cheer,
Both retired with no financial worries but their hearts are filled with sorrow,
No loving kids to look after them, no one to care about their tomorrows.
All the business trips abroad, the holidays three or four times a year,
The cocktail parties and the jet set, have all long since disappeared,
It’s only now that they realize, that it’s true the best things in life are free,
No amount of money in the world can compare with your child sitting on your knee.
The veteran sits in the pub with his mates, having a bet and drinking beer,
One leg lost below the knee and total deafness in one ear,
He has seen and done things in that war, that sometimes haunt him when he sleeps,
But when asked about that part of his life, he always finds it hard to speak.
For all of this he is a happy man, he loves to laugh and share a joke,
His family and friends are really close to him, and that is what he loves the most,
When his time comes he will have no fear, he has been close many times before,
Until then he lives his life to the full and he will not ask for any more.
They sit on plastic chairs at plastic tables that are arranged around plastic floors,
Disinfectant just about hides the smell of urine, as you pass by the toilet doors,
Some people walk around in dressing gowns and slippers, others are confined to bed,
Is this the treatment they expected, a room shared with strangers before their dead.
Bullied and ignored by staff, scared and lonely, they miss their old life,
A visit on birthdays and on holidays, just do not make things right,
How the ones they brought into this world could, put them in a place like this,
Will they care about them when they are gone, will they even be even missed

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