The 2River View 26.2 (Winter2022)

S. Segal


There were no children
in this hospital wing,
only grown people
with deep psychic wounds.
Yet handed to me
to hold like a small child
was my diagnosis:
schizoaffective disorder.
I promised
to take care of it.

The sound of feet shuffling
in group therapy
insistent as disinfectant.
One woman howls
of wanting to die.
The clouds shift
like babies in their cribs,
a few disturbing visions
appearing in my peripheral
demanding to be rocked.


Imagine residing
in a mental hospital
and seeing a woman’s
green paper gown
as a brilliant purple
sari. Amid white walls
and odors of disinfectant,
who can blame me
for refusing
to see it the right way?

S. Segal is a poet and journalist who lives in Northern Virginia.

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