Sunday, May 31, 2020

Poems from the Back Ward: Poem 1

This is a new series that will focus on people who work or worked in the psychiatric field. I worked as a mental health counselor at McLean Hospital for 36 years.  During many of those years I ran poetry groups for psychiatric patients in different settings. Here is a poem I wrote about watching a client at a Boston hospital. Send your poems to --with a pic of yourself, bio, and poem--in one email.


Just a skeleton of herself.

Her teeth

A row of rot.

Her stringy arms

Starting to rival

The width of the

IV tubes.

But she is happy.

Smiling at the

Happy horseshit of the TV

Her cheeks sucked

To the bone,

A woman

With the voice

Of a gasping, callow child

Asks, clutching the phone:

“How many calories in a scone?”

1 comment:

  1. So intense and so incredibly sad. Brilliant in its simplicity, Doug.