1. No Recall
I didn't see or feel or hear it coming.
And then I came to after the
Annihilation of all I thought I knew
Once I tumbled down the rabbit hole.
2. Morning Glories
The whispers of clean linen
Float across narrow beds of
Brutality, and reflections
Of a summer's early morning,
As melodic rapid chatter
Of Tagalog plays through the halls
While pairs of girls in their scrubs
Disappear into recessed rooms,
To the sound of greetings weaving
Between a woman's cries of pain.
3. Under the Snow
Triple digits of the season
Pass week after week outside,
Unnoticed by those doing time;
This asylum with arctic air.
Who are they kidding?
I've been here long enough to know.
I actually died that day,
And this, this is my hell!
Hell is not fire & brimstone.
It's a parallel world from which
No locks exist, yet no escape
To return to where you came from.
Patients, whose eyes you look into,
And no one is there!
It's where all fear goes at night,
Their voices are heard through the walls.
But those with their vacant stares
That I can't penetrate have their truths
Forever frozen in time
In cages where they walk in place.
The cold numbs hands & feet & thoughts,
But I feel alive because of it.
Like a mouse foraging under the
Snow while an owl listens above.
I know the pounce will come
Through the snow at any moment,
Bathing me with morning light
As owl talons sever my breath.
4. Night Terrors by Day
Sooner or later it would come.
A wide-spread power outage hit
Just before dusk with its heat,
Just as dinner was being served.
I had learned to live on scant fare,
Being a diabetic
And having only one kidney:
My weight loss, lost in my blue gowns.
I was restless and felt cold air
As I walked with my cane to the hall,
Aqua socks with tread on my feet,
Toward the nurses' station.
Thick orange extensions snaked
Everywhere, and the "regulars"
Emerged to sit in their wheelchairs
To watch while I sat with ice water.
But all the hustle & bustle
Would agitate some patients,
Making them unpredictable
While staff was racing all about.
There was an old man known for being
Loud, and most disagreeable.
He wanted out of his wheelchair,
To go where he wanted, right?
Nurses would stop to secure him
As he protested and cursed.
The regs who knew him rolled their eyes.
I continued to sip my ice water.
Then I noticed the white-haired lady
I was chatting with was looking up
And said softly, "He's behind you."
I stiffened and hunched my shoulders.
I tilted my head just enough
To see the old man, his gnarly hands
Gripping the backrest of my chair,
Glaring down at me with eyes bulging.
"Get out of my way!" came the frost.
I bent lower against the chill.
"I'm sorry, I'm not in my wheelchair."
(Being stranded in a stiff wooden one)
I felt the spray of his spittle
On the back of my hand holding the cup.
"I don't give a God damn," came the blast,
"Get on the floor and crawl out of the way!"
5. No One Will Know
Every evening, the asylum
Gives up its creatures of the night:
The stalkers who haunt the halls,
Who try all the doors to get in, or out.
And homeless creatures on two legs
Who I would often walk in on,
Using the toilet meant for me,
And watch the TV while I slept.
But no, in that place I could never sleep,
I used to be nocturnal years ago.
But all I could do now was listen
To the jungle cries and siren calls.
I'd stagger out to the empty lobby,
Hearing a man far off in his room
Calling out for someone to please,
"Dear God, TAKE ME HOME!"
The man in the next room in bed A
Hollered out from the open door,
"AH, SHUT THE FUCK UP!"
And I screamed, "YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP!"
Once I was back in bed, that same voice
As all slept while I laid awake, plotting, said
"Hey, give me some more Demerol.
Don't worry... no one will know."
For those who knew that I was gone (which was due to a terrible accident), here's some of what my time away was like - just a taste of it.
Image: An original drawing: one of my oldest "mouseworks", by me.
Written by Jade-Pandora
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