I was a good girl. All fluff,
and soft, and full of too many
ways. Such a good girl that they locked
me up, and threw away the keycard,
erased the access code, blocked
my phone number. Except
on Fridays, those zombie afternoons,
when visitors arrived. More candy,
more chocolate, more diet
coke, please. Cigarettes
really hit the mark. I was
so good at being good,
I cracked and fell apart. Oh no
here comes the crystal chandelier,
tinkle, tinkle, shatter into
a hot lot little pieces of bad.
The bad was so big, it got
everywhere. In my eyes, in my
mouth, in my heart and hair. What
I wanted most was: love.
What I wanted, second most:
to be left alone, like a cat hidden
in a box. And thirdmost, to never
be left alone. Find me, find me,
find me, please. The nurses, kind,
kept offering up structure. The doctors,
also kind, pills. I took both, and
travelled further from the bad,
and the good. I travelled until
I couldn’t remember my name,
or my reasons. This was
very good for me. So good,
I broke again, like a tidal wave,
a tsunami against a hard dirt shore.
The water went everywhere. I went
everywhere. A brilliant fluid mess
they couldn’t begin to mop up.
And so they gave me a new room.
One with more restrictions.
This time, I hardened
into a cube. A saucy little square.
A brick. A block. You could
make something with this;
build something on it.
I knew better than to shatter again.
I learned to love this form. This
firmness. What I’m saying is:
I learned my place. I learned
how to hold my hands,
folded, in my lap, just so.
I learned to be contained. Watch me:
Behave. Behave. Behave.
Lucy M. Logsdon
Lucy M. Logsdon’s work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in such places as: Nimrod, Poet Lore, The Southern Poetry Review, Kalliope, Sixfold, Chicken Scratch lit, Conclave and Seventeen. She has been the recipient of a Macdowell Writer’s Colony fellowship, taught at The Frost Place and the 63rd Street Y in NYC. She received her MFA from Columbia University. Currently, she lives and teaches in southern Illinois. In her spare time, she helps her husband raise chickens and ducks.