Monday, April 16, 2018

Day 17: NaPoWriMo - Adventures at Dammasch


This is for my mother who has stories of her life growing up in foster care in Oregon and about her mother who loved her, even if the system wouldn't let her.


Adventures at Dammasch*

She’ll tell you stories about piglets,
rubber boots, rotten eggs
cracked

over the head, and deep purple bruises.
She’ll tell you about a girl who had
dreams,

who pitched soft ball with arms made of steel,
wilder than the Oregon frontier in the
rain shadow.

She’ll tell you stories about hunger,
eating mayo warm from the
cupboard,

stories of a girl who died by darkness
in the valley of the snow
melt river;

a girl whose mama was strapped with leather
over breasts, arms, legs and
forehead;

convulsed in a stigmata of electrodes;
smothered by people in
white.

She didn’t fly over the cuckoo’s nest;
she lit up like foxfire in the rain, in the
dark.




*Dammasch State Hospital in Willsonville, Oregon was a mental health hospital founded in 1961 and closed in 1995.