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N a p a l m   H e a l t h   S p a :   R e p o r t   2 0 1 4 :   A r c h i v e s   E d i t i o n








A little girl wearing a pink dress

stands by the reception desk

in the mental health clinic,

Her eyes fixed on a man

holding an unopened red umbrella.

There is nothing peculiar

or remarkable about the man

except for the red umbrella

he has brought on a sunny day.


"Latisha, come here," says her mother,

a tall attractive woman with

tightly braided hair. Latisha

doesn't hear her mother. She is

gazing at the man with an umbrella.


"Latisha, What are you looking at girl,

come here." But Latisha is over there

by the reception desk, looking

at the man with the umbrella.


Her mother stands up, walks over,

gently takes the little girl's hand,

leads her to the seats. The eyes

of girl never leave the man

holding the red umbrella.


Latisha, if you would be a poet,

you must stand over there,

as if your soul depended upon it,

you must stay over there until

your mother brings you over here.



[Originally published in NHS 2005, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs05/rob_rixon.html.]