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Contributor: Ruth Z Deming

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I wasn't there when they lashed her like Ulysses
to a a buzzing howling machine that
splattered through a mind that
had forgotten how to work

She thought she was dead
She thought all her organs had been removed
She thought her husband and son had
abandoned her for good

Happiness basked on a distant shore
Ballets, musicals, plays, grandchildren
she once loved them all

They wheel her in every morning
her white hair thin, her breath
rank, her mind as blank as
the cold wintry skies outside

Please let the jolts of the machine
do its work, let Stella swim ashore
once more, like the barefoot girl
she once was when she married
her beloved, who she yells at now
every single day.

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Ruth Z Deming has had her poetry published in lit mags including Mad Swirl and Literary Yard. A psychotherapist, she is founder/director of New Directions, a support group for people with depression, bipolar disorder and their loved ones. She lives in Willow Grove, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia.


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