Psych Ward Love Poem

Evan Miller


My nights are filled with the coughs, moans and groans

Of men who have nowhere else to go.

They come through the gate just as the sun is setting.

Sloppily they stumble in.

Their eyes bloodshot, faces stained,

They breathe booze and broken bottles.

They have replaced the electricity running through my walls.

Gone is the daily drag of solitary confinement, pills and inkblots.

Men in white once roamed the halls,

Escorting tormented patients in the midst of screams,

Dismissed by a diagnosis.

That was before the ivy took over my windows.

Before the windows served as target practice for teenagers.

The type who run away from detentions.

My neglected front door hangs open.

An invitation rejected.

So I spend my days nestled between two hills,

Listening to the wind.

My eye scanning for my visitor.

She maneuvers her way through the front gate,

Now blocked with a miserable, rusted, chain-linked fence.

Her camera bag hangs by her side,

Rich brown hair draped over both her shoulders.

Her eyes do so much more than just see,

Evaluate, discriminate, and find.

Her own lens.

Her face shows an optimism few can find,

When faced with my haunting, my urban-legend.

My urban-legend does not appear fulfilled.

She stops outside of A Wing this time,

Walking around eyeing the contrast of hard, red brick,

With the soft, newly formed ivy.

She snaps a photo and gazes deep into the tiny screen.

Yes, this is what it looks like to be forgotten.

Next, a broken light bulb socket on the ceiling of the front entrance entices.

She stands directly underneath the old socket,

Paint chips from the once clean, freshly painted ceiling accompany her feet,

Like snow forgetting its purpose in the shine of summer sun.

She captures another image with a twinkle in her eye.

In the main hallway, her slow,

Delicate footsteps crunch the chipped black and white tiling.

I feel embarrassed when she crinkles her nose,

Offended by the odor that my night dwellers leave behind.

She peeks into several rooms but chooses A18.

She eyes the broken window,

The metal bars to keep the boundary.

The rays of sunshine drift in

And occupy their seat in the broken three-legged chair

Left to lean against the shredded padding of the wall.

Her curious dimples make me want to say,

“You know, this is the room where Dylan Weidt tried to…”

But I can’t even get this much out.

She’s had enough.

On her way out, she is preoccupied once more by her small camera screen.

I settle down to be warmed by the burning up of the sun over the cresting hill in the distance.

At times, she looks at me differently than anyone else.

And at times she sees the same things as everyone else.

She’ll never take me with her.


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