|Lisa Gordon Photography|
After I died
they brought me here
or did I come here to die?
It's hard to keep clear.
I am, a captured thing,
put in a white room where
they'd forgotten to bind me tightly. I
remember how close you came
that first time,
before I taught you better.
I think that was when I fell
in love with you. Your eyes
seemed to know the
difficulty of being a woman
to love pain, to see the locked attic,
the dead children,
my husband's fat red
face, my portion neatly totted up
behind the impatient
pig-pink eye, the closed fist
so different from your
smooth gloved hands, your
apothecary's fingers; I can feel them
stirring mercury and poppies under
my skin, your leeches my sweet babes,
their bright mouths suckling out
a stream of sins, your needles-full of delirium,
lighting flares in my eyes with alchemist's fire.
You called it medicine, I called it
as if I could know any more
the dissolving glaciers of days turned
into icewater sweat
collecting in my skull's hollows,
the snow of years
transmuted to liquid
birthing a belly of wildflowers
in frozen-over fissures
now closing to a treatment
beyond all knowing
in a spring that never was.
|found on the internet|
posted for real toads
Interpretations with Margaret: Willard Asylum
This time in her Artistic Interpretations feature at IGWRT, Margaret Bednar (Art Happens 365) has introduced us to the Willard Asylum(operational 1869-1995) the photography of Lisa Gordon, who toured it and captured many striking images, including the one at the top of this post, and also the "Willard Suitcase" project of Jon Crispin, which sounds and looks absolutely fascinating, though it was not in play in this poem. For full details of the challenge, visit the toads link above.
Process notes: The use of leeches during the active time period of Willard Asylum is anachronous and used purely as a poetic device. 'Leech' is also an archaic term for a physician.
Top Image: Photo of Strap at Willard Asylum, copyright Lisa Gordon Photography
Used with permission