Ruth Walters


The Hospital - Poem by Ruth Walters

Large, heavy, wooden, daunting doors
loomed before my eyes as I enter.
An empty side office, reception
with old fashioned filing cabinets,
dark now, glass shutters, closed.
Another heavy door in front of me,
it leads to a wide, cold floored corridor.
Such a daunting place to work.

The black and white tiling, lofty ceilings,
do nothing to reassure me.
More heavy, locked doors
with tiny, peep holes for windows, barred.
The sound of faint screaming echoes,
ghost like, drifting towards me
getting louder.
I reach a wide, stone staircase.

Everything is locked and bolted,
no one passes but the screaming continues.
Asylums, those old mental hospitals,
where we still send the forgotten
to live out their lives and rot.
You wouldn't ever call this home
and the world outside rolls by
as the traffic speeds along.

Topic(s) of this poem: life


Comments about The Hospital by Ruth Walters

  • (8/24/2012 3:24:00 AM)


    These institutions are certainly reminders of a different time. The feel of the diminished individual in the hugh and impersonal structures and routine of a cog, cold and mechanical, not human. Well considered here and the revulsion and fear and loathing strong and evocative. The traffic outside casually coming and going oblivious to the history and torment. Hopefully things have changed for the better. Good stuff for shining a light. (Report) Reply

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  • Valerie Dohren (8/22/2012 4:32:00 PM)


    These were dreadful institutions but thankfully they are being replaced now by more modern buildings, or patients are being given care in the community. I used to work in a psychiatric unit - this place has now been closed down and became dilapidated. Good write. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Poem Edited: Monday, September 15, 2014


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