Locked Ward

Journal Entry #2, “Locked Ward: Newtown, Connecticut” by Rachel Loden p.1292 Word Count:
The Author, Rachel, is remembering when she would go visit her mother at the state hospital. She was a young girl at the time, maybe in her early teenage years. The orderly would order her to follow her all the way to her mother’s room. The orderly would remain eerily quiet as they progressed through a series of locked doors to her mother’s room. Her mother sat uneasy on the edge of her cot, looking sad and broken.   As if she was a puppy that knew she did something wrong. There are no tangible sharp objects in the room. However, when she sees the worsening condition of her mother, the pain cuts through her like a knife. She brought her mother a robe and a sweater that she had asked for, but all she wanted to do was to pick her mother up and take her away from this place. She would take her mother to a place where there would be doctors that care. It is apparent that this state hospital in Newtown, Connecticut, was not for the mentally ill patients, but it was for the criminally insane. Her mother earned a slot here that she could not escape. The years go on and her mother’s sins are not forgotten; the end of sadness and pain in her heart will never come.
Figurative language presents itself early in the poem, “I trail her like a moon” and “like a whipped child”. She trails in the shadow of the orderly never getting informed enough to know what happens when she is not present. She sees her mother as if she is there, but it as if no one is at home. She wished she were able to help her mother, but there was no way out once she had been admitted. The vast sea unable to remove the stains on her mother’s shirt symbolizes the sin placed upon her mother. It may not have been a horrific sin, but in her mother’s condition the people around her do not care enough to even take a second glance at her mother. She goes on day by day, year by year, as if she does not...