Archive for April 10th, 2013

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Cougher by Wendy Cope

There’s a tickle in your throat
And you’ve hardly heard a note
And you’re wishing you were in some other place.
In this silent, listening crowd
You’re the one who’ll cough out loud,
And you know you’re facing imminent disgrace.

Yes, right now you’re in a pickle.
The unmanageable tickle
Is a torment, and it’s threatening your poise.
Can you hold out any longer
As the urge to cough grows stronger?
Any moment you’ll emit a mighty noise.

If this bloody piece were shorter,
If you had a glass of water,
It would help. But there is nothing you can do.
Oh, if only you could be
Safe at home with a CD,
In an armchair, free to cough the whole way through.

Do you hear a rallentando?
Does this mean the end’s at hand? Oh,
What a mercy. Yes, they’re really signing off.
They perform the closing bars
And you thank your lucky stars
And it’s over. You have made it. You may cough.


Date: 2009

By: Wendy Cope (1945- )