Visiting the Untouchable This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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They say it's a hospital
but I know better.
Visitors, holding carnation bouquets,
wear brightly colored tee shirts, casual khaki shorts,
but their eyes are all glazed hard with worry,
their smiles are just brightly painted plastic.
The front desk attendants are chatty and careless, talking
about Sunday plans.
They call it a hospital
but I know better.
He is calm now. The medications tape his pallid
153 pound body together. They kindly allow him to speak, but
not to hear. They allow him to maintain his wild delusions,
but not to listen to us.
They say it’s a hospital
but I know better.
He looks at my mother and says:
“I had twin puppies yesterday.
They took them away from me, though.
They put them in a place where only the Marines could go.
And I tried to go there, but
They caught me. Isn't it nice that
They allow me to have visitors in jail?”
The photographs around him try to create a
chorus of the familiar.
But they just depress me more. Who wants to remember that
this man was once a gardener, father, husband? The nurses
alone can admire the photograph of his beautiful white
country house.
“Fiona,”
he mumbles at my 4-year-old sister, as she pulls herself
closer to my mother’s leg.
“Fiona, what a beautiful name for a beautiful child.”
They call it saving a man's life
But I know better.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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