Institutional Dreams

I used to dream I’d gone back to
The mental institution
I lived in for six months when I
Was in my darkest days

The halls, I still remember, but
The rooms fade into memory;
As I would shuffle up and down
Its limited pathways

Me being me, I spent my time
Falling in love with nurses,
And counselors and social workers
Who all tried their best

To help me get someplace where I
Would want to go on living;
Instead of where I’d been, which was
The middle of depressed

I’m grateful to those people, though
I doubt they much remember
Some patient who would play piano
Hours of the day

And yet, I’ve never thought
That there’s no way I could go back there:
I am the same guy underneath
Constructed the same way

And so I don’t look back within
Some privileged position:
The many things that make us fragile –
These are always here

But I view with compassion
All the many who are struggling
To push away the emptiness
They can’t make disappear

And ask, if you are one of those,
Remember, just remember,
That every loving thing is born
A world
Of fear

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14 Thoughts to “Institutional Dreams

  1. Wow. That got me. And it made me think of what a gentle and sensitive soul you are that you would share so much of yourself with us every day. You are something else.

    1. Thank you, Elle. You’re very sweet to me.

      I couldn’t sleep last night, so I got up and wrote like twenty things. I ended with this piece, because my mind was racing and ended up, somehow, back at that place. Then I took a shower and went to work.

      I really appreciate your kind words. – Owen

      1. I think you’re very sweet to me, Owen. You give me lots to think about…you put words together in ways I can only dream of. You have a gift and an open heart. That’s a special combination. And that’s not being sweet.

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