Terry Collett

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

Yvonne Straight-Jacketed 1946 - Poem by Terry Collett

The straight jacket
holds you firm;
they put you down
on the wooden bench,
sit there Yvonne, sit still,
the nurse says, and don't bite.

You watch
the nurse walk off,
her uniform dark blue,
the white headdress,
holds her brown hair in place,
but does nothing for her face,
hard and heavy jawed.

Your bare feet
sense the carpeted floor;
your toes scratch
against the rough grain.

Your black hair
is over you face,
you are unable
to push it away
as your hands
are bound
in the jacket.

You shake your head
to move it away,
but it falls over again,
shutting out sight.

You sit and sense hard
wooden plaits of wood
beneath your butt.

You had headbutted
that woman in those
female lavatories
who attacked you
in one of the stalls,
tried to touch you,
finger you
as you'd seen her do
to others in the past.

Now you are
straight-jacketed.

That fat woman's nose
was broken.

Blood everywhere,
on walls, on the lavatory bowl
where you pushed her over.

You hear the loud
calls and screams
from the ward,
the keys in locks
turning and turning,
and anger
in your head and heart,
burning, burning, burning.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Poem Edited: Wednesday, June 28, 2017


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