The poems are dated (in the titles), and I think they speak for themselves about how my views and infatuations have changed. Psychoanalysis is the biggest bamboozle I’ve fallen for. I was twenty-four in 1972.
Doctor Dear, 1972
I wait in cool stillness
sticking to plastic seats.
Blues and browns, carved wood and stone.
Fish swim in a huge tank.
I wait for it to crack—
spilling, sending flopping fish
onto the rug.
Outside a dog barks,
inside my heart pounds.
He is late.
Coo-Coo! Damn clock.
I remember why I am here
and feel ill.
On the stereo
a song from childhood.
A latch clicks and
he passes quickly,
briefcased and trim
In hope, in fear, in love.
I cross my legs and try
to look calm.
The door and
he walks four steps
down the hall
I too, and stand and follow
head down and silent,
He sits at the head of the couch.
My mother, my father, my husband,
My Child. My enemy.
I close the door
and lie down.
to die for a better life.
Scenes I’d Like to Replay with My Former Psychiatrist, 2009
The day he asked me to care for his dogs while he went on vacation
and wouldn’t accept my NO, insisted I should be honored by his request.
The dinner at my house when he arrived two hours late with his family
and complained there was no meat in the lasagna.
The times he talked about other patients, said one was cursed with her body,
told me the man I’d referred for therapy looked like a homo.
All the times he called me long after I was asleep, told me to go check
on his mother at her house down the street because she didn’t answer her phone.
At his playtime apartment with his girlfriend for a threesome and he said
my hair was Brillo. I didn’t object when he wanted to take photos.
That evening in his house, preparing dinner with his wife and girlfriend
when he said it was too bad Hitler never finished the job on the Jews.
His command to keep all of our therapy confidential, to see some
of his other patients for sex, to charge them, then pay him in cash.
That day I should have thrown him out of my house when he suggested
I introduce his twelve-year-old son to sex and give him a good first experience.
I laughed if off, didn’t think he was serious, didn’t know it would have been
a capital crime, now thankful for the little good sense I had.
[published in Open Minds Quarterly, May 2010]
© 2017 Joan Mazza
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