In these rooms of strangled noise and hobbled steps,
she is free like no other.
I came here as a boy,
untamed by mother,
unknown by father,
understanding only lightning and darkness.
Now I am a man, of sorts, who has earned,
with a million nights of quiet walking to nowhere,
the privilege of the garden.
High-walled and strong-barred,
but only light between sky and skin.
Most never make it to the garden.
Most pace ceaselessly
Some, like her,
are too tied and bound
Her howling sent shivers through the deepest middle of me.
Cough and Stoop and Spectacles and Laugh
were taken away by nurses
to be calmed with soothing sharps.
and was cuffed where he stood,
still calling twice his trouble.
The pacers picked it up
but were bullied back to slow
by the big bad nurse.
He likes the dangerous days.
So do I.
But I do not tell.
If I told,
I would not be trusted to stand
in this garden,
at this window,
watching her flayed wrists in their iron pads
twist and twist and twist;
her face telling all to me
despite clamp and gag.
She must not excite the others
says the doctor.
I have watched them try needle after needle.
The clear stuff;
the yellow stuff;
the misty stuff which holds your soul
forever out of your grasp.
She collapses for moments-
how I hate those moments-
then she is bulging her eyes at them,
filling the room, the garden, me,
with her freedom.
They cannot allow this to continue.
They must believe they are free.
One day she will not be in her bed.
not to mad to bury a pill or two,
will follow her to freedom.