for Mary Frances Heaton (1801-1878)

Devoured by the crazy of my own-times,

I did not hear her or the others.

Screaming into rain and snow I froze

in my asylum. Blank walled

but for mad replays of my debt to sanity.

She embroidered letters to a future lost,

sewn in wild hope-coloured samplers.  

Water lilies cast adrift on wishes

while her spirit burned at the stake for

speaking, writing, feeling, expectation

beyond know-your-place restraint.

Writing on the backs of burned-out bills,

echoes join the price of anger.