The day my dad went mad.

He came undone with no sense of decorum.

His pants soiled and the room reeking of shit.

Paisley and the Pope shook hands in the Ivy house across the way,or so he said.

We laughed because it was easier than crying.

This was no celebrity breakdown;

there was chaos as he tried to climb the venetian blind,

And people sniggered as he danced with the shopping trolley,

mums best table lamp balanced on top to show him the way.

He became mute.

Exhausted by this world he retreated to some other benign place.

Lingered there for months,wrapped warm and cosy in a strait jacket.

He came home on Christmas day,a male nurse on either side of him.

His crazy blonde quiff still shone like a halo in the late December sun,

but nothing else remained.

He was a husk of a man,

A lithium hologram.

🌷 (7)


◄ Now and Then

I'm Fine. ►


Profile image

Mark Mr T Thompson

Sat 17th Jun 2017 08:55

What a powerful metaphor to end with. 💕

Profile image

Louise Hogg

Fri 9th Jun 2017 09:44

Your personal experience shines through with such power. It moved me to see mental health from a family's perspective rather than the sufferer's perspective; the harsh realisation is every one suffers.
Thank you Patricia for such a moving piece.

Profile image


Wed 7th Jun 2017 23:08

Superbly gripping and an insight into things we can only gasp at. The line "exhausted by the world..... " I think is so moving and holds the poem together in a way.

Savagely good.


Profile image

patricia Hughes

Wed 7th Jun 2017 21:35

Thanks for all the positive comments.
Its a very personal piece of poetry and based on the reality of growing up with a parent suffering from severe mental illness.
I wanted it to be a honest piece and hope I have managed that.

Profile image

Raj Ferds

Wed 7th Jun 2017 20:19

Quite gripping Patricia purely because of its grey and morose nature. I like the way the pathos unfolds, culminating in...

He was a husk of a man,
A lithium hologram.

Well done.

Profile image

Stu Buck

Wed 7th Jun 2017 13:40

love this. really strong writing and a proper connection to the subject matter. grimly entertaining.

Profile image

Tom Harding

Wed 7th Jun 2017 13:27

Powerful stuff, I like the urgency here.

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message