The view excavated any hope of escape. “Ha ha!”
the trench, that sunken fence, seemed to say
with its furrows dug deep enough for despair.
Though from the other side, the public saw
swept views, open expanses, a landscaped guise.
The asylum appeared to be a place of liberty!
But between normalcy and its aberrant
neighbor, conduits had been cut to demoralize
the committed while reassuring the rest.
No common ground was shared between
that haha outside and the hysteria within.
Those chasms were created to confine each
breach that behavior had transgressed.
Susan Kinsolving has published the poetry collections The White Eyelash, Dailies & Rushes, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Among Flowers,and the forthcoming My Glass Eye. As a librettist, she has had works performed with the Marin Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, Glimmerglass Opera, and The Baroque Choral Guild in New York, The Netherlands, Italy, and California.