Portrait of Stephy Langui By Rene Magritte (1961)
Mental Health Portraits
By Margaret Crocker
MENTAL HEALTH-PORTRAIT 1
Offices are silent
and locked at night.
And bland doors upon doors
white and nervous against the glass
broken with chickenwire.
The pads of my shoes are quiet.
The elevator’s shaky hum is quiet.
The shadows of the dining hall are quiet and long.
The dust on the carcass of a water beetle,
the saw that does not move,
the razor behind the lock,
stained with marker,
the fingers clenched in state blankets.
while a reflection of me
smokes in the yard.
MENTAL HEALTH-PORTRAIT 2
smiling in the hall.
She rubs her forehead back and forth,
her fingers back and forth,
the air twisting
her knuckles back and forth,
taking a shower.
Her tshirt is hung
empty on the door.
Cee Cee in line
waiting for that Red Cross tshirt,
a souvenir of another life
and pursuits she sleeps away here,
of a time she had something to give.
Cee Cee in line
with a Dixie cup of orange juice
and that crazy, crazy blood
pumping a hole through the universe,
bumping softly at the wall
as she stares past the door.
A sticker, a lollipop and a smiley-face on the board,
this is what she has now.
carrying a cheap comb in a paper bag.
Cee Cee watches the bored nurse
and today’s discussion
“To Cope or Not To Cope.”
That is the question.
About the Author: Margaret Crocker is an artist, writer, wife, mother, daughter, sister and thief. She collects stray animals and has this weird fantasy of being on The Great British Baking Show, despite the fact she uses a bread machine. She knows little but proclaims much. There is much we don’t know about her.