“Detainee” by Peter Desy


The night they picked me up
I said But wait…
A psychiatrist, a general and a statesman
and my fourth grade teacher gathered

in the dingy foyer at 3 a.m.
It was in a cold month,
when the house flies are so fat
you can pick them up by hand.

My brain, the captain, somewhat
still in charge, gave up its rank.
You’ll be happier with us.
Did they all say that?

* * *

I am much better now.
They let me break eggs in a cold
frying pan. When I get a glass of water
they give me two straws.
They say my bedsheets are blessed
by the pope and the president knows
they are helping me.
Mom, this is still the greatest country
in the world and they are trying
to get me to see things as they really are.
I am very peaceful
and do not worry for me.



Peter Desy is loving his early retirement from the English Dept. of Ohio University. He has poems in or forthcoming from The Iowa Review, Hubbub, The Literary Review, Southern Poetry Review, and other journals, as well as a poetry collection, Driving from Columnus, and two chapbooks.