Not Like the Rest

A true story, very sad and a reminder of how society (government really) can let someone down. This was the ultimate failure of “care in the community”. It still happens.

Young, slim, pretty 
Shiny black hair
In satin waves
Freshness of youth
Delicate features
Fragile like the mayfly
A shy nervous smile
Flickers briefly
She looks much like the rest
And she walks and talks
Just like the rest
She tells me her story
Reads me her poems
Glimpses a future 
Inside she struggles
Stresses and worries
Insecurity, plagues her like locusts
Eating confidence, consuming spirit
An empty bottle, beached
On life’s shore
Forgotten, a lonely, abandoned lamb
To face her wolves
And she hurts
“What about me?”
“What about me?”
“How should I feel? I don’t matter”
Not like the rest 
Doctors diagnose, plan intervention
Prescribe medication, a hospital bed
Nurses monitor and report
Administer the treatment
Provide some care
Nobody really listens
Nobody really knows
Or understands
So she remains
Hospitalised, medicated
Pacified, stabilised
Tranquilised, desensitised
Monitored, protected
Contained, controlled 
How does she feel?
She can’t explain
Then how could she
Doped and drugged
Her feelings blanked
Smothered and flattened
And they
Can’t explain
Then how could they?
She doesn’t look ill
She carries no mark
She wears no badge
They say she’s recovered
Finished her treatment
She’s not so sure
They send her home 
Parents plead
A mother knows
She’s not ready
She’s still hurting
She still needs help
Her bed’s allocated
Her budget’s spent
Her resources gone
Released, discharged
Just like the rest 
Her care in the community
Her one brief day 
Of freedom
They came too soon
Unwittingly created
A torment too far
On a bridge
She pauses
No samaritans
No witness
No mothers arms
She’s gone
A solitary column inch
She didn’t matter
Not like the rest