“Before Evening Med Pass” By Ryan Quinn Flanagan


Before Evening Med Pass

My wife has come to visit me.
On the unit at the Sudbury madhouse.
We are seated on the end of the bed.

Does he always play that horrible music?
The nurses give him one hour each day
with his guitar,
I tell her.
He plays the same thing all the time.

That’s awful, she says.
I shrug my shoulders.
Before she leaves, she meets my roommate Don
who thinks there are listening devices

After she leaves, I hear Don
through the yellow privacy curtain.
Your wife seems nice, do you trust her?

I tell him I do.
Then I hear him roll over in bed
and exhale once


About the Author: Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Cultural Weekly, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.


More By Ryan Quinn Flanagan:

“Robbie the Owl”

“He Brought His Canvases Over”


Image Credit: Arthur S. Siegel “Parke, Davis and Company, manufacturing chemists, Detroit, Michigan. Packaging pills in the finishing department” (1943) from The Library of Congress

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