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Play by the book

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Poem submitted by Simon McKeown

We take away their freedom

When the ill become ‘acute’.

We take over,

Deprive them of their open mic.

We are the law

In uniform of T-shirt and blue jeans –

Pretty funky

When we’re not in here.

We implement the Section to the word –

‘No treatment’ means containment and assessment,

Nothing more.

No real care.

Hostile environment,

This place I work.

Coldness of battered front line –

Harsh battle line, in fact,

That’s fought in doorways, bathrooms,

Smoking rooms and on the wards.

The well-meaning hit the floor running.

The cleaner the best punch-dodger I have ever met.

Honesty the policy, my arse.

‘Mental health’, grey area indeed.

No way to know what’s wrong in someone’s mind.

Chemical Nirvana and the eye turned blind.

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