My poor dear, were tight plastic ties placed
on your tender wrists? Were you marched down
a long dim hall to the room “Philosophy 101”?
Told to lie on a tilted metal table, worn-out towel
and bucket of fresh water at the ready?
Was it easy to confess that the logic and the ethics
of your arguments were treason?
Sad to contemplate if then you were stood up,
a rough hood placed on your gentle head,
and you were prodded to the Science building.
Was there a hovering buzz of chemical light?
Were you stripped of unseeing those terrible
smooth raw blue walls of Reason? Forced to
view moist eviscerated toads still twitching
on operating tables? Made to witness
various curious disembodied brains drowned
with formaldehyde in dusty disregarded jars?
Bullied to accept how unscientific your flowers
and the process in your gizzards were?
Were you deprived of decency and clothing
and then endured a “journey on a gurney”
through a crowded campus afternoon?
Shoved into the hazy gray maze of a Psych department?
Were you slipped into an itchy white gown
with no ties in the back and made to bend, inflicted with
a search so intimate to prove your poignant lack of feeling?
And was the worst humiliation saved for last?
Were you put in an orange leisure suit, purple shirt,
fat yellow tie with big green polka dots,
placed face up in a pine box and dragged to
that dreaded “Chamber of Personal Esthetics”?
Were you examined closely by a surrounding circle
of nodding heads in hoods of white silence?
Was your beauty assessed meticulously and denied,
even though it was found distinctive how
the pain of your strangeness instigated effusive gobs
of pure indifference? Were you exiled to a fate
of digital darkness? Oh, how I worry. I haven’t heard.
It’s been awhile. Will news of you be good?
Michael Harmon holds a B.A. in English Literature from Long Island University and a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Arizona State University. Some of his work has appeared in North American Review, Adirondack Review, and New Plains Review.