Home > Health > Case Study

Case Study

February 12, 2010

by Heather Reid

(Royal Edinburgh Psychiatric Hospital 1989)

It was theatre of sorts,
a modern take on bearded ladies,
cirque de psychiatry’s
weekly wheeling out of crazy chicks
to be unpicked by disaffected students
whose real aim was gynaecology
or something with a knife.

But you loved the stage,
held the audience with anecdotes
of days amongst the glitterati,
and how your mother —
bless her soul — had passed away
last year and now possessed
the body of your dog.

Your mother didn’t die.
Yesterday she’d helped to clean
the wreckage of your flat,
where stubborn russet stains deface the floor,
the bathroom mirror’s broken into knives,
the drama of a paramedic’s foot
still marks the door.


Download the podcast

Heather Reid lives in Perthshire, Scotland where she was a social worker but is now a puppy walker for Guide Dogs. Her poetry and short stories have been published in a number of journals and this year her poem “A Murmuration” won the BBC Wildlife Magazine‘s Nature Poem of the Year.

Categories: Health Tags:
  1. February 14, 2010 at 2:02 am

    This is just wonderful. I enjoyed it very much. The title is perfect and I see the tale itself as a form of social science ethnographic ‘data’. Just wonderful. Thank-you so much for sharing this experience and memory ~

  2. Peg
    February 15, 2010 at 2:55 am

    I like how this poem plays (so to speak) with the notions of “theatre” and “drama.”

  3. February 19, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    mysterious.

  1. No trackbacks yet.
Comments are closed.