Psychiatric Ward

You are tired of injuries, waking each morning
to the same silence, the same malady.
Everything here is white, the colour of science.
Medicines come and leave messages in the mind,
in each blood cell, for a time.

Someone sends letters to god and beatifies
friends, saints of pills and electricity.
And the lady who always wears a hat
is certain that the flowers her husband
brought are red and yellow poisons

she will inhale and then die.
You do not speak to them, they are different,
they are mad and might exhibit danger.
It would be useless to scream, no-one
would listen, you would have wasted your time.

You know more than the doctor, he has
no secrets you have not already learned.
You want his freedom, his place in the world
and make a plan of how to get it.
You will deliver the letters to god,

make certain the flowers are not deadly
and in the morning when the sun goes in
and the clouds thin out, you will teach
them how to fly into a pure blue sky that has
no need for medicines.

John Cornwall

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