Note to family and friends: please don’t be alarmed by this poem – this is a response to Esther Newton’s Weekly Challenge, and refers to the situation a year ago.
Medical mutilation is her means to an end,
a dirty deviation that I cannot mend.
It’s messed with her mind and it’s made her mad,
stealing all the inspiration she once had;
everything she tells me is a misinterpretation,
most of what she sees is wild hallucination.
Her fading head is fetid with foul fabrication,
and her family are drowning in devastation.
She shouts allegations of spies in the trees,
of worms beneath her skin and injected disease.
She threatens and she rages and she begs and she pleas:
Why don’t you ever listen to me?
She stomps to the bathroom and she locks the door,
not caring that I know what she’s in there for.
She knows I forbid the filthy drugs within my home,
but selfishness is part of the addict’s syndrome.
At one a.m. she’s yelling and she hasn’t stopped at four,
when finally I’m forced to push her out of the door.
Despair, like an iron maiden, crushes me in,
re-piercing my scarred and broken skin.
My knocking knees weaken and I sink to the floor.
I remember no yesterday, no future dawn;
no memory of the happiness we knew before,
nor the slightest hope that she may be reborn.
Rusted iron blood clogs my veins,
clanks and clammers in my brain,
and though I try to stand, I try in vain.
So this is it, I think, I will not rise again
I take deep breaths to banish from my head,
all of the recriminating things she has said
and all of paranoid drug-induced inventions,
while I try to focus on my intentions.
I lie on my back and I meditate
on how to return to a positive state.
She’s been well before, and whatever the cost
she can be well again; all is never lost.
Whatever the danger of Laura’s reproach
I’ll ring the doctor and we’ll find a new approach.
I’ve re-established hope at last.
I’ve found my way back to that cracked and pitted path.
I wonder if the devil will feel my wrath,
or whether he’ll achieve the final laugh.
©Jane Paterson Basil