the eyebrows I think

Psychiatry 4: Acute Observations – Poem 43

it made for an almost feminine appearance
in a strictly masculine face

as though he’d applied a heavy make-up

but it was actually just the eyebrows

funny how you don’t notice them at first
just the look of a stranger
on someone who is actually familiar


he’d done half his head as well
hard to know where the obligations begin and end
with someone who is a Patient
held against his will


doesn’t come within the standard
Psychiatric Nursing job description

I told him the female staff
and some of the patients
were complaining about him
masturbating all over the place

I said he should keep it in his pants
and to act like an adult
or he’d end up in Seclusion

he asked

but what about when my pants slip
and I have to grab them

showing me with one hand on the waist-band
and one cupping his jewels


what about if I’m walking
and just need to…

scratching in the general vicinity

I’d have none of it
I told him

he looked vaguely disappointed
tried out another

what if …

before focusing on a cigarette
and mumbling about not meaning to …

I never quite got
what he wasn’t meaning to …
I’m a little deaf
and he’s a little brain damaged
and it was just a passing discussion
distracted by the absence
of eyebrows

© Frank Prem, 2016

Next – black visitor


6 thoughts on “the eyebrows I think

  1. What he needed to do was leave and walk away to a room by himself where whatever he needed to do could be done. And then he could stay in there until that need came upon him again. And continue to stay in there. I suppose this is why I would have never been a psychiatric nurse. My empathy with the eyebrows is not even supportive. I am just not being kind. Oh well. Oh dear.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Of course…his mind did not work that way. I suppose that my expectations are too high. And I am not thinking positive thoughts…but, was anyone thinking positively about this sad person? I am not applying for the job. Much to my surprise, I am logical! I will let my family know! Ha! I am totally not logical on most days and I don’t intend to be…except about this guy!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This particular gentleman had a combination of an ABI as well as psychotic mental illness, along with self-initiated illicit substance use. Not much in the way of social niceties or standards filtered through, and the behaviours were repeated ad nauseum.

    No gender segregation in the sleeping areas, either, just to add an element.

    Liked by 1 person

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