Scene From the Psychiatric Ward Ending With an Admission

“To fear love is to fear life, and those whose fear life are already three parts dead.” – Anton Chekhov

There was this woman at
The hospital who looked at lot
Like my grandma. She wasn’t
In my ward but I could see her
Pacing back and forth over the
Reception desk that separated
Adolescents from Geriatrics.

But here you are mongoose standing hips
Oblong and tilted breaking bread
While it storms outside.
And I learn birds can fly through
Water when a jay slams into
Our window and you startle
Like a goose and look to me
Bread still in your mouth mawing
Oh my god. Oh my god.
And laughing bread crumbs
Spilling over me.

And that woman climbed the desk
Shuffled to me arms affixed like
Some zombie and babbled
Florida, son, home, you’re home
and three nurses tried to lead
Her back but she just kept
Standing there and I sat there
With a cathartic curl to my lips.

And you mongoose well our
Fingers splice spinning
All this afternoon.


The one thing I remember about
The hospital is the cafeteria this one
Lunch where another scrawny white kid
And I rapped Nas and after were
Called queers so I shuffled my tray
Toward the dented trash can and as
I tossed green beans one at a time
Into it everyone stopped
Moving for a very long time.

Jackson Dickert is a writer from Columbia, South Carolina.