So Called Safe.

Times like this I shouldn’t be here
Its not stopping my stress it’s stemming it
I’ve been helped
alongside the girls who eat tape measures
and the boys who breathe fire.

But as I lie in bed
I’m whispering to my pillow
“The door’s locked.
The door’s locked.
The door’s locked.”
And it’s not OCD talking.

I’m scared because they’ve been kicking the doors in for hours
and we are two members of staff down
and as patients storm the siren screaming doors
the agency blokes don’t know their names
to phone for the police.

We’ve lost three members of staff 
and gained an army of impermanence.
We are 16 beds of vulnerable young people
Yet for nurses balancing the staff ratio has become a craft
The budget cuts are getting deeper
And there’s no one to stop us when we are bleeding.

But what are parents supposed to do?
When Seb is sixteen and suicidal so sent to be safe.
The psychiatrist is supposedly stalling their son’s surge for suicide.
But in a moment Finn throws a fist and Seb’s got stitches.
Seb’s mind must be bad for six stitches to be the safest.
How scary is that?

The ceiling screams when we do,
Staff scatter.
Skin splits.
And sewn on the skin of my teeth
Are slideshows of scenarios
Seen in children’s psychiatric settings.

But we’re safe here. Right?

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