AG (1963 - / St.Helens, South Lancashire, UK)

The Psychiatric Patient

Today they have sat you outside on a bench,
Away from the Ward and the building, now
Your home. Away from contact, as it matters
Little anyway, as people hardly visit
And family seldom stay.

Your face is solemn, your eyes are dead,
Oh what dear girl, goes on inside your head.
You have been here five years;
No sounds come, nor tears,
As you shuffle like a ghost past the other’s
Silent leers.

Trapped inside the place that is your mind,
You were once a university student, they said
So garrulous, so kind,
And then one day it struck, it all became too much,
And now you sit five years on,
Never knowing what has past,
As time and all has moved on.

Jeans - a size too big, fail to hold your body’s shape,
A baggy sweater is the norm,
The aged training shoe heels are worn,
You wear no makeup as there is no point,
For you have been forgotten by all
Forgotten by the past,
By those whom you once knew as friends,
Forgotten so fast.

Recall that girl, her name was Jill?
Didn’t she study law? They’d said,
But Jill lasts but a fleeting moment
In thought, as her former peers have
Got their degrees, their futures founded,
As you saw your plans completely floundered.

Jill sits, her long blonde hair moves in the breeze,
Local children walk past, occasionally cruel,
Often tease, as the girl sits in vacant silence
No sound comes, no acknowledgement she gives,
As the nurse comes to collect her and walks her back
To the ward – her home.
And then she sits before being lead to dine
In the canteen,
To dine on regulation NHS food,
to dine on years of ongoing routine,
To dine on the years of ongoing routine.

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