SHOCK TREATMENT - 1961

The Killing of Susan Kelly

At Baldpate Hospital, Georgetown, Massachusetts

 

The black-suited man slithered,

Black box in hand,

To our bedsides, four girls, innocent, naked,

Waiting waiting waiting,

Sticky-headed,

One by one.

Zapping currents through us,

Young bones cracked, brains bruised

By his cold-fingered electrified touch.

Crime completed,

In collusion with white-skirted nurses,

The limb holders,

He slinked back into the early morning frost,

Hot morning coffee in hand,

Leaving us quieted, flat as pancakes.

 

And Susan,

The soft white sheet covering her,

Did not move at all.

His shocks had stolen her, skin and bone,

That beautiful flaxen-haired child,

At seventeen,

Silencing her questioning stream

Of daily chatter, her ballet dreams.

In her innocence, she had spoken for me,

Muted and crushed by endless sizzlings.

Inches away, I did not hear her silent call

As she slipped into death's embrace,

Beyond -

Where her little fingers hold the violin strings to my heart,

Playing them like a marionette

In the gentle breezes of heaven.

 

2007 Dorothy W. Dundas