More Beds for Easter

By Kristen Lawler

More beds! More beds! they
announce with fanfare
triumphant almost 

Rejoice, there are
more beds for Easter! 

for the sad, for the sick
the recently crucified
those going mad with
loneliness 

but will these beds come
with any understanding or
compassion? Will anyone
say I know you are sad I
know you are frightened
but it will be OK. 

Will any kind word pass the lips
of those charged with care? 

In a last ditch attempt to find safety I
went to one of those beds and there
was no care, and there was no
kindness I was left covered in bruises
on my skin, on my mind, on my heart 

When I heard them refer to me as
‘the overdose in bed four, bloody
taking up space’ I quietly put on the
red shoes a friend had brought me
and left. Nobody cared enough to notice. 

Here I lie now in a different kind of bed
a swag at the foot of a sand dune
surf roars in the distance
the moon is so full, so bright
I wonder how I will ever fall sleep 

I have come here to heal
not for the first time
from healers who have been care-less.
Shapeshifting clouds come in waves
and cover the stars
a rubber duckie a
hungry ghost a Degas dancer 

Safe in my cocoon with a dog and the
ocean this ancient, unforgiving place
demands I surrender to its big magic and
when I do it wraps its arms around me and
binds me fast 

Here under the desert sky I
feel the unmistakable spark
of healing in one tiny corner
of my heart. 

More swags! More dogs! More skies! It’s not a
cry the politicians are likely to take up. They
have done their bit, the crucified and crazy are
off the streets out of view and in a bed. A hard
narrow bed with nothing for succour
but an angry fluorescent light. 

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