ANNE – a text portrait

Hello blog followers. It’s been a while but I’m back here and blogging. If you are still out there, thanks for your patience 🙂


Hint of smile. Playful, small. Pains in chest. Won’t go. Won’t go anywhere else.

And she counts. 1, 2, 3… 11… 41, 74. Come out, come out, run hide, run hide. Where did everybody go? Such a long time to be lost.


Seeking kindness.

Eyes grateful in spite of everything. Seeking kindness even though she has seen pain, felt pain, feared pain. Talk to me, talk to me. Will you talk to me? Tell me everything, will you? Years ago, you didn’t know. It wasn’t like that then, do you see? Single mother, father waged a war without reason. Convent school. Not for me, rebellious you see. So they said. That’s what they said. Hint of smile. Playful, small. Pains ease, for now.

And then, and then the asylum. And then, and then, and then. 30 years of zombie state. And then, and then. First friend, last friend, only friend. He’s mine. Tucks me up. Mine, all mine. And then. Frightened. Black and blue again. All the while the hands of brutal men swipe and rage, here, there and everywhere but then, nobody. Long gone, but always there. Everywhere.

What will happen? Come out, come out. Smash. Out. Smash. Break. Smash. Glass shattered. Freedom found and lost. Such a long time to be lost. And yet, a hint of smile, still seeking kindness. Expecting kindness. Trusting kindness.

Eyes light, not for dimming. Not hers, not now, not after everything. She is free. Hands to the sky, hand on chest, hint of smile. Eyes light. She is free. She is found. She is home.


A text portrait written in the style of Gertrude Stein. My subject was a woman I observed who, now in her 70s, had been detained in an asylum for 30 years between the ages of 11yrs and 41yrs. Quite simply, her story moved me.


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