November 24th, 2008

poetry, exceptindreams

345: crazy girl: a reconstucted memory in three pieces

“crazy girl: a reconstructed memory in three pieces”
Dani Frances Montgomery

still some nights
i hear the screams
of the six year old
strapped down in solitary
a sweet boy
so quiet in the day he
sat like a shell shocked survivor
of some private war
staring at the gray pages
of his coloring book
while the older kids
talked about suicide, acid, and math

but between bed checks
his screams came through
the sound-proof door
and we woke up
in the darkness
sweating our hospital beds
scared the nurses
might come next
for us

when the door sticks
i panic
back to that 10 by 12 cubicle
where the nurse with hard eyes said
so she could check
for drug stashes
inside my underwear
and the toes of my shoes
make sure i hadn't
hid a spray can in my pant leg or
strapped explosives on my stomach
and i sat naked on the coarse carpet
of the psych ward
as she clipped an i.d. tag
tight around my wrist

mandatory swim day
even in february
daniela offers me half her cigarette
as we sit shivering in the showers
with their cracked tiles and slime
tells me her father beat her
every night so finally
she drank a can of lighter fluid.
when she came out of her coma
the doctor prescribed prozac and
sent her to psych

out in the three-foot pool
attendants stand at the sides
tell us to keep moving
around and around
when Jason stops and
stands glaring
they remind him he can
go back to juvie if he won't behave

that afternoon, my social worker
teaches me to play hearts
says it's a social skill that will
help me grab a boyfriend-
help me get

we would herd them together
the doctors scratching
prescriptions on yellow pads
the nurses with their needles
all the attendants, social workers
lock them in solitary
but we
don't have
the keys