Sucker Punched by Nicola Graham


International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, November 20th, 2021


I thought it was getting easier; learning to manage the pain;

And then it hit me in the gut; Caught cold by your loss again.


One, two – Sucker Punched! [My Stablemate took the dive]

One, two – Sucker Punched! [No, wait, this can’t be right]


The hard and fast combinations begin cutting off the ring;

From journeyman to plodder, the heavy weight closes in –

Battered and bruised and broken; never featuring in the ring –

Memories flood, like knockout blows – internal sparring begins.

I try to duck and dive and block, but my head just starts to spin.

My feet move slowly forward, like a plodder stumbling –

Dazed and drained from the blow by blow, stuck in a bout I cannot win –

Alone and in the corner now, stunned and still reeling –

Shopworn and trapped on the canvas floor, wishing for the bell to ding.

Waiting for the final round, searching for meaning.

But knowing all the while, that things are different now, just going through the motions –

Just Shadow Boxing!


One, two – Sucker Punched! [Never saw it coming]

One, two – Sucker Punched! [Could I have done something???]

One, two – Sucker Punched! [Where once flew pretty butterflies, now swarm angry bees that sting]

One, two – Sucker Punched! [The world keeps spinning round and round, but life is not the same – My Friend is always missing]


  • Deborah says:

    I Absolutely get it Nicola, those punches keep coming , over time we become stronger and we can take it on .An amazing poem so well written .well done Nicola you explain the grief your going through since losing your wonder friend Nicola. 💜

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