Asylum Visit
by James Keller


Sometimes night in winter
comes towards you
in the form of a nun
in an asylum garden
walking between leafless trees.

You have to be grateful
that unhappiness 
is bearable for you,
not that you should get used to
the suffering of others.

locked in the lonely rooms
of their troubles selves
and wonder how they will
face another hard day
watched by crows who are nuns.

Leather boots trudge uphill 
on broken stones
to take in the view
of the wind-swept valley
where they return to suffer.

In a stone common room
on a little stage
they rehearse the play in
which we all play sad clowns
mocked by cruel kings and queens.