THINGS PERFORMED.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
A WOMAN IN AN ASYLUM.

Submitted: February 05, 2010

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Submitted: February 05, 2010

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Things performed robotically,
The tasks mundane, even down
To peeing or shiteing, executed
Functionally, hopefully, out of

Sight of others, even the less
Focussed, less capable, look
Away when such is performed
In the lavatory, in the cubicles

Side by side, with the locks taken
Off in case of emergency, in case
Someone takes to slitting wrists
Or garrotting themselves from
The water pipes high above.

She knows the click of the
Locked ward door; knows the
Voices of nurses who wander
The ward at night between beds

In the dim light; knows the soft
Whispers of the long dead are
Answerable to no one inside her
Head. She sits or stands or walks

Avoiding the damned, remembering
Half-heard conversations of her Da
Saying, we’ll come for you when
The voices stop; take you home

When you take to the drugs or
If the docs say yes or your mother
Feels up to it and so on and so on
And that was then not now amen.

She walks the grounds to smoke,
Accompanied by the nurse from
Armagh, Catholic like herself,
Who says nothing or allows small

Talk when offerings the ciggies
And lighting them from the red
Lighter, the keys rattling as she
Moves or bends, and beyond

The walls and fences, beneath
The dirty sky, people she once
Knew and loved, forget she’s
There or wait for her to die.


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