When Uncommon Equals Insanity |
by Emily Lasinsky

Ralph was insane.
He spent forty years at the same factory,
Clocked in at 7:50 AM, ham and Swiss on rye with milk, clocked out at 4:10 PM,
Never grew tired of the mundane.

His wife, Nora, an empty pot refusing to accept fertilized soil,
Despite no change in seasons, Ralph still bloomed for her.
I can write no words to do their love justice.
Nora passed away last year.

Ralph went on with his same routine,
Thankful for having her for that long.
The people in town didn’t recognize his wife was gone,
Until a month later when the butcher to whom Nora was a regular customer noticed
something must be wrong.

There was a funeral, but only few attended,
a rather private affair.
Not until the death turned into a public scandal
did anyone else seem to care.

Ralph clocked in at 7:50 AM and the carrier of the clipboard clocked him out at 8:12 AM.
“Excuse me, sir, we need to ask you some questions and run some tests.”
“Tests?” Ralph nervously questioned since he only completed the 6th grade.

“Why did you not tell anyone of your loss?”
“Were you afraid they’d come looking for ya?”
“Heck, you could have had time off if you told your boss!”
Ralph just starred at the man who, from what he could see, was Dr. Soc…

Two large men guided Ralph into the emptiness and gave him a robe of white,
The doctors told him they needed to assess his condition and he’d be there over night.
Nights and days passed with no explanation,
Penny candy bought with one-hundred dollar bills kept him from questioning.
The white robe became Ralph’s skin during the twenty-two years he was detained,
His mind was warped, but his heart never became stained.

Ralph did not react in the acceptable fashion,
He chose to accept his wife’s death.
But this is not the order in which one should grieve,
He should have been hysterical, begging her not to leave!

His peace screamed of guilt,
No one innocent could have been so content,
Yet somehow his presence was needed for the walls to be rebuilt,
To be an influence where the rest of his life was spent.

I’d love to tell you more, but I must get my laundry now because I do not want to miss lunch.
I only have one white robe, and I clean it on the days we have ham and Swiss on rye with milk.
The poet: Emily Lasinsky is an emerging artist and writer from Indiana, PA. She has a deep passion for creating art and writing, and believes these expressive practices play an essential role in shaping the self. She is currently a graduate student pursuing her M.A. degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and she hopes to use these expressive forms when counseling others in the future. Her artwork has been published by Touch: The Journal of Healing.
The Artist: Bob Craig is a Western Canadian artist whose path in the fine arts has led him to a unique expression of mood and color through collage and mixed media. He has explored numerous forms of art and craft; painting in watercolor and oils, pottery, sculpture and bead-making, to name a few. He has also worked in art restoration and education.