Lines for a Female Psychiatrist
by Donal Mahoney


Perhaps when I’m better I’ll discover
you aren’t married, after all,
and I should be better by Spring.

On that day I’ll walk
down Michigan Avenue
and up again along the Lake,
my back to the wind, facing you,
my black raincoat buttoned to the neck,
my collar a castle wall
around my crew cut growing in.

Do you remember the first hour?
I sat there unshaven,
a Martian drummed from his planet,
ordered never to return.

With your legs crossed,
you smoked the longest cigarette
and blinked like a child when I said,
“I’m distracted by your knee.”

The first six months you smoked
four cigarettes a session
as I prayed out my litany of escapades,
each detail etched perfectly in place.

The day we finally changed chairs
and I became the patient
and you the doctor,
you knew that I didn’t know
where I had been,
where I was then,
and even though my hair
had begun to grow in
how far I’d have to go
before I could begin.



* * *

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. His poetry and fiction have appeared in a variety of publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his early poems, written between 1965 and 1971, can be found at http://booksonblog12.blogspot.com/.

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