Waiting to be released from the ward, I play ping pong with Wesley. We are laughing, I keep missing the ball. I’m surprised at his patience with me. A social worker calls him away, when he returns he’s pale. I see him slide down against the wall, arms wrap around drawn-up knees. His head down, his shirt over his head. His bipolar features paranoia and he is already in mental lockdown. I go to him when my ride arrives, bend a bit, place my hand on his shoulder, and quietly tell him, “My ride’s here. I’m going to miss you. I feel like we were friends in another life.” I start to drop my hand down his arm before the inches between us grow into feet. As I get to his forearm, he grabs mine and holds on tight, just for a moment, just enough for goodbye. (Previously published in The Beautiful Space)
About the Poet:
Jeri Thompson lives and writes in Long Beach, Ca and has her degree from CSULB. She is in numerous publications, including; Chiron Review, The Fox Poetry Box, Carnival Lit Magazine, Silver Birch Press (Silver, Green, and Summer editions), Red Light Lit, and most recently Anti Heroin Chic.