Miceál Kearney

Lost and Found in The Mental Health Act, 2001

The Gardai have the power to take you into custody,
if they believe you have a mental disorder
and they did. More than once.
E.C.T will help you get better.
Most patients recover from a mental disorder
within the first few weeks; some take longer.

We’d be playing fun when the knocks
and telephone calls could come;
always at night. We looked forward to them.
Not that we didn’t care, just
we were never told anything; ever.

Sundays were quite long car journeys
in itchy mass clothes to state-of-the-art
Victorian buildings, bull bar windows
and retina scanner doors.
You may want to leave,
you can discuss this with a member of your care team.

Sitting strange in smoke flavoured big rooms,
out-of-date magazines and padded pens.
Tablets and lies falling out your ears.
‘I’ll be back soon.’ — Here?
E.C.T will help you get better.
We were never told anything; ever.

Any wonder the apple grew on the breast.




Miceál Kearney, 31, is from the west of Ireland. He has been published in Ireland, England and America. In 2009, he read as part of Poetry Ireland’s Introduction Series. Doire Press published his debut collection, Inheritance, in 2008. His second collection, Cartography, is forthcoming.