“After we published an anonymous account of life in St Ita’s psychiatric institution, a photographer and a doctor were among readers to add to its portrait of life there …”

Garrett Igoe’s poem, Patient:

I pierced your innocent vein with bevel up,
infused a swift sedating rush,
held back healthy curls
from your high brow,
applied the shocking cups.
You convulsed
in that red bricked
sea swept place,
memories eroded, like peeling paint,
decades of wasted afternoons,
one sock black, the other baby blue.
Rattle rattle dum dum dum
your mantra, drowning
shouts from the female side,
charge nurse X doled
out the Major, you told me
you liked the mauve
of Doctor X’s jacket.
On night rounds, I ignored
the scurry of black eyed creatures,
held tight the keys
of twenty four locked wards.
And finally I abandoned you,
left you to go on
showing your tongue
smacking your lips,
rolling your eyes,
uncontrollably.

 

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