THE EXERCISE WALK.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
A BOY AND GIRL EXERCISING OUTSIDE A LOCKED WARD IN THE SNOW OF 1971.

Submitted: August 27, 2012

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Submitted: August 27, 2012

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The dense woods
outside the locked ward
were drenched in snow

as you and others
walked in twos
between the snow

laden trees
that cold morning
guided and guarded

by three nurses
wrapped in thick coats
Christine said

I’m freezing
why do we have to go out
walking on a day like this?

exercise
the plump nurse
behind you said

can’t have you
stuck indoors
on a nice day

like this can we
you stared
through the woods

as you walked
wondering when
the snow had fallen

in such quantity
Christine shivered
and pulled the collar

of her coat tighter
around her neck
don’t need the exercise

she muttered
need warmth
and love

she moved closer to you
put her arm
under yours

lay her head
against your shoulder
as you walked


over the uneven ground
we could always
make a break for it

you said
and hide in the woods
no you don’t

the nurse said
I’ve had enough
of your escapes

better than being
frozen to death
here in this

march of the dying
Christine said
don’t exaggerate

the nurse said
the doctor ordered
you all to exercise

to clear your minds
I need my mind mended
not frozen

Christine said
better to freeze than
have your brain fried

by the ECT
you said bitterly
the nurse sighed

we are in a bad mood
today aren’t we
you sensed fresh snow

fall on your head
and face
more fucking snow

Christine moaned
snowflakes settled
on her hair

and soon
it was difficult
to see

the surrounding trees
best get a move on
the thin nurse

at the front said
or this lot’ll freeze
and the plump nurse

behind you said
let’s get a move on then
and made hurrying gestures

with her hands
as if you were all chickens
being guided back

to the hen house
if my freaky ex-fiancé
hadn’t left me

at the altar
I wouldn’t be here
Christine said

I’d be on my honeymoon
the nurse said nothing
but continued making

her gestures  
where were you going to go?
you asked

somewhere warmer
than this
Christine said

and took your hand
in hers
her woollen gloves

touching your cold
white skin
come on you two

you heard
the plump nurse sigh
as a grey dullness

filled
the tree stroked
cold sky.


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