Poems and Poetry

Like a Prison, Like a Theater | A Poem by Unnr Kopec

In the psych ward we sit around the television
Little seeing or hearing the shows,
We think about the fistful of pills
About the man who jumped under a train
Wondering if it was worth it.
If we’re worth it.
Another enters the room
He’s been to see the doctor,
We know the doctor hadn’t said anything,
We know the nurse had spent the entire time thinking
She’d forgotten the can of milk on the kitchen table.
The middle aged man just arrived goes to the corner
From the table he finds a plastic cup and a water can.
It’s empty — it’s always empty.
“How was it?” an old lady asks him.
The man laughs, “Over and done with.
I’m going home tomorrow.”
We nod, some smiling faintly, others frowning deeply.
There’s no place as full of hope as the psych ward.
And no place as noteworthy by its importance
In being the place for lost souls just before they dissipate
To become once again part of the public society.


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