Terry Collett

Gold Star - 23,291 Points (13/12/1947 / LONDON)

Attempted Escape. - Poem by Terry Collett

Each morning Tess waited nervously
for the nursing officer to arrive on
the locked ward, and spot on time
each morning he came with his small
black briefcase and went to his office
on the locked ward of the asylum, and
after a few minutes she was allowed
in for her daily requested interview.

She sat in the chair opposite him, he
fresh from the sane world, sat there
with his brushed teeth and groomed
hair, intent look behind his glasses.

When can I get out of his ward and
home? she asked him each morning;
when we consider you are ready and
safe to be let out, he replied each day
with the same calm voice, the same
deep tones. And off she'd go to begin
another day with those whom she
considered mad or seemingly dead.

Every day at the same time they would
bring along the meals from the kitchen;
they would unlock the double doors,
bring in the trays of meals from a trolley,
leave the doors unattended for the time
it took to bring in the trays, and then
locked the doors again. Tess waited and
watched every time they came timing
by the clock on the wall how long it took
and how long the doors were unlocked.

This day she waited; time ticked slowly,
as she stood in her dressing gown by the
doorway to the bedrooms and watched
as they unlocked the thick double doors.

She waited until they unlocked the doors
and entered with the first of the trays,
then she ran like one possessed, out of
the doors and along the corridors and
heard the commotion behind her as she
ran, and the shouting and screaming and
calls, and the thundering footsteps behind
and then two burly male nurses tackled
her to the ground and held her there
beneath their mass and smelly breath,
seeing the lights on the ceiling flicker on
and off, not far away a woman screamed,
nearby she heard a man's rough cough.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, May 25, 2012

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