Mind's Eye 

     Careful not to look too hard, or lift my eye to where
       it might be caught, latched onto or beseeched, I searched
       the room, slid past a crumpled blanket in a chair.

               I saw in him the ruin of a military man,
               a smile aslide with drool and eyelids bled
               of sleepless tears set in the crust and crosshatch
               of his pain's thin script, where wrinkles etched
       his soft loose skin. How sags the military spine,
       the tissue parchment of these blood blue veins explore
       his claw clenched hands,
               I have to leave, to look away

               to shift my gaze once more to  mindless box instead,
       that glares into the sun filled day room hour by hour,
       these exhortations of the healthy rich to train each day,
               achieve such bliss, five minute discipline,
       such ecstasy of mindless function, and such sculptured strength.
       A simple ride and rock and such a little price to pay.

               one old dear's simple ride and rock cries out
               another cries in pain, so like a clock, screams out,
              out from  a corner rug: my horror turns again
               and I too swing around, I turn my head,
       I catch the inadvertent ruin's eye.

       Clear through the window of intelligence I stare
       and feel foul ravishment of self, feel dread.

22 August, 1999



(C) Copyright 1999
Alice Thorpe
All Rights Reserved