by Paul Tristram
She was on 24 hour suicide watch,
couldn’t take a bath, piss or shit
without a female nurse present.
They’d caught her with her head
inside a carrier bag two days ago
a minute after the dinner bell rung
and yesterday found broken glass
under her pillow, when she had thrown
a tantrum and knocked it off the bed
onto the sterile linoleum floor herself.
I was in on a 10 day alcohol detox,
pumped full of vitamins and Heminevrin
awaiting sentencing in Crown Court.
I watched from across the room
as they spooned food into her mouth
with plastic cutlery like a toddler.
I knew her, by sight, same school,
she was a year younger and was in
the same class as my ex-girlfriend.
Which we talked about, briefly
that evening when she sauntered
on over with a nurse at each side
while I was playing a game of pool
with an irate paranoid schizophrenic
(I was cheating, obviously!)
She asked about her old classmate
to which I replied in monotone
“Didn’t you hear? She topped herself ,
no fuss, no messing about, just action!”
and as I turn away from her performance
I saw her hanging her head in shame.